WILLPOWER

I know you’re going through trying times right now.

There is a mountain of hardships you’ve had to overcome.

Death, loss, and failure haunt you this year.

 

I wish I could take some of this burden from you 

but just know I’m right beside you with a gentle hand.

 

I know it’s a lot to ask but 

I need you to fight through this heartache.

 

Dig your hands and boots into crevices of this rock

and determine with all of your strength 

that you will overcome this valley in your life.

 

You’ve done it before and you can do it again.

 

– May 2019

Interview with Poet Matthew – Installment 15

Today we chat with Matt from his Alternative Darkness blog where love, grief, and malice all intertwine to create insightful poems. Let’s dive into the dark now:

 

Has writing poems about death and grief been helpful in the healing process? Would you recommend writing to others grieving?

Well, I don’t write poems about death because I’m dealing with a healing process, at least not in that way. I’ve had people die in my life before like great grandparents and stuff like that and a friend I didn’t talk to much anymore that was hit by a Mo-ped pretty hard and killed on his birthday but that’s the farthest thing from the death in my writing. The reason death is such a big thing in my writing is because it’s a pretty big part of life.

Relationships, people, pets, emotions, friendships, places, and memories all die. A lot of them just waste away and some are accidents and some are killed whenever people feel destructive and hateful. A lot of what I write deals with these losses and sorrows that seethe into life every day. In a way I give my blood to my poems because that has been therapeutic, and I let myself and these different heartaches and rages topple and flow into my work. Everything I write about has made me feel a certain way and every subject has influenced me either first hand or through some medium.

As far as recommending others to find some sort of outlet for all the shit inside of them then yeah writing works and so do a lot of other things.  The only advice I can offer others who are looking for an outlet weather it’s constructive or destructive Is 1. To not hurt others or destroy other peoples possessions against their will (for example if your outlet happens to be, I don’t know, fighting only fight people that want to willingly partake like boxing or whatever but don’t beat on just whoever or whatever). And 2 That whatever you do should come naturally. You might have to practice it but you should have some naturally good inclination at whatever you do, but it should never feel forced.

If you try to force something you’re going to do it poorly and probably ruin your confidence and self-esteem. I see lot’s of writers who force what they do and honestly I find it a little insulting. What they write isn’t original or new or done in a very unique way which art should always be unique and not uniform. And that’s why I think print media is suffering now because of shitty books and other written materials in general. It’s such a high majority that it’s really suffocating the voices like yours and mine in literature, past and presently now, from making a helpful impact on anyone’s life. But, yes, people should have some sort of enjoyable and productive activity in their life weather grieving or not and writing or not.

 

You have a great poem that contrast elements like love and sinister details but they mold so well together, why do you think poems that compare contradicting elements work so well?

I think that there’s a duality with almost everything in life and many of these dualities are naturally contrasting. There’s no such thing as perfect love for example and the sinister details are sometimes there for different reasons. Sometimes there’s flaws in each individuals personality that can be abrasive to each other or work together, sometimes it’s the setting. It’s also a stylistic approach, the darkness and coldness is the actual love communicated back. I don’t want the love that I project, that feeling that one has for another individual to be any of that Jack and Diane bullshit, y’know. It’s not the perfect love story of the jock and cheerleader or whatever or the successful whatever and handsome to boot marrying the most perfect and beautiful woman and them having great perfect kids and go to church and everything is leave it to beaver.

I’m sure for some people it’s like that but for me to write that would be phony because I interpret love the way I write it, not like that. People are fucked up and sometimes people don’t reciprocate feelings, people stalk each other, they die and get sick, they disappoint and hurt each other’s feelings, they fuck up their chances with someone, they cheat, they aren’t successful, at least not the way our society expects success with money and all that shit, and they just enjoy memories together of walking places or conversations over cheap meals and coffee or whatever. And love doesen’t have to be all screwed like this but It can have darker elements and people can still work together as a couple and create something that’s darkly beautiful. But in short variety is the spice of life and when you contrast your experiences you make it that much more exciting. That works well with anything really not just writing.

 

You have some religious and political themes in your poetry, why is it important to have poetry that speaks to current issues in society?

Well, to follow from that last question to contrast this, I have heard people argue that being socially conscious is a real “cope out” as opposed to using your platform ( music in the case that I heard this individual referring to) to I guess talking about heavy metal fantasy worlds with dragons and nude women and macho bullshit or conversely weed, money, and whores. I think this is completely ludicrous and absurd. I’m not saying that’s bad to use your art on but for me looking on that its truly entertainment and nothing more, just amusement. It’s fun but when it’s all over you have trouble holding it close and dear to you if you have any kind of intelligence because it’s not relatable. It’s like the American dream or people that really love the lottery and daydream all day about winning. It’s like sticking your head up your ass. I think the logic there is that life is hard so lets go home and forget about all that and be taken away for awhile and be comfortably numb and a little ignorant.

But after all the fun the problems are still there and you’re left there sort of looking like an idiot because whilst there are artists and people speaking out and trying to make a change and talking about their past and how that has affected them and maybe many others to and how we can come together. There’s to much in life to want to stay out of it all the time and for me to say that is going a far way because Me of all people has hated a lot of moments in life but I still don’t tune out like some of these people. It’s an adventure. I think every artist no matter their craft I love today has influenced my work as well so I mean telling things they way they are and having someone say hey you’re right and deciding to share themselves is the circle of life of expression and creation so to speak.

 

Do you prefer to write in silence or do you have a writing soundtrack?

Yes I always write to music. I don’t have a soundtrack necessarily bus some of the artists I like to listen to are Deicide, The Cure, Seraphim Shock, Switchblade Symphony, Joy Division, Lorde, Skinny Puppy, Poison, Alice In Chains, Pantera, Danzig, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Type O Negative, Tiamat, Rollins Band, Bad Religion, Life of Agony, And Black Veil Brides.

 

Click here to check out Matt’s blog

Interview with Poet DeVonne White – Installment 13

Today we welcome DeVonne White to the blog! We’ll explore how meditative and healing poetry can be! Poetry is an amazing way to express thoughts and work through struggles.  Let’s talk to DeVonne about how inspiring it is to write about her faith!

 

How has poetry strengthened your faith?

Most of the poetry I write is scripture driven. I’ll read a piece of scripture and as I meditate upon it, let it stir around in my heart and mind, a poem will make itself known. The great thing about that is I’m really taking my time with what the Word of God is saying. It has built my faith more than anything else I’ve done. More that a retreat, conference, even church. That personal time meditating on God’s word is truly faith-building.

2019 has been a very difficult year for my family, we lost both of our Dad’s within twelve weeks of one another. Mixed in with our own grief, we have been walking alongside our grieving mothers. Writing poetry, that stands on scripture, has truly brought peace to this restless mind of mine.

What is your favorite poem (or two) of yours?

My Most favorite lately is:

The Hope-Giver

He is the Hope Giver

The Hope Filler

Her Overflowing Hope

 

She hopes for what is unseen

Cupping her hands

Holding her cup close

She waits patiently

 

Drops of hope begin to fall

Her cup, once empty,

Fills with a living hope

Her eyes see, what was once unseen

 

The Hope Giver never stops pouring

Never stops filling

He fills her with His peace

His joy, His love

Her cup overflows

 

What is your daily writing routine?

I am a note taker. All through out the day I will think of words or phrases. I write them down or type a note in my phone. Then in the evening I sit with my laptop and start putting those notes together. Like piecing together a puzzle. I let that poem sit for a day or two, and then come back to it and edit. I must say, I enjoy the entire process and find myself restless when I’m not working on a project. I am happiest when creating.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

I think it would have to be ‘Faithful’

I try my best to be faithful to the Lord and His calling on my life. That calling can look different each day. Somedays I am working on writing or storytelling projects. Other days, like recently, I’ve been caring for my Mom after a recent surgery and balancing my day job at an insurance agency.

I strive to be faithful in all things. Faithful to the Lord, to my husband, children our extended family and friends. I want to be that person who stands by her people, who is there and is present, in the big things and the small ones.

To connect with DeVonne, visit her:

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