I know, art isn’t always pain.

I never know what to write here. Sometimes I open up a new draft and sit down and at worst it’s like my brain got drunk and passed out. At best I’m the airport attendant who issues you your boarding pass and checks your bags, only no one is in line and there aren’t any flights going anywhere, so what am I to do? Just twiddle my thumbs and imagine all the trips I’d love to take.

It’s not just writer’s block or a lack of ideas. I think there’s plenty in my life that would be interesting to write about. I think that’s the case for most of us even though we struggle with the words. I recently read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert at the behest of one of my favourite co workers. She’s someone who really gets me and could pretty much be me we are so in synch. When she recommended I read it, I bumped it in line ahead of 5 other booked recently lent to me to read and plowed through it in 2 days.  Not because I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert (I only read the first 100 pages of Eat, Pray, Love, although I do mean to finish it), but because it seemed like a pretty relevant book to me at this point in my life. She talks a lot about creative living, inspiring the reader to create, create, create like it’s our birthright… because it is. I remember when I started this blog I felt like it was a major channel for my own creative living. I basically rediscovered my love of poetry because I decided to open a wordpress account one day. A lot of my poems exist because I suddenly had this empty canvas to put them on. This blog, though monstrously neglected, means a lot to me because I know it’s here, waiting for me. My own little universe of creative living.

I think one of the biggest things I took from the book is that your art doesn’t have to come at the cost of your happiness. You don’t have to be pained to be an artist, although it sure fuels a lot of creative work. When I think about it, though, when you’re happy, you’re happy, right? You have all this happiness energy that you exude and pour out into the world, to the people around you, and it’s a joy to do. Happiness energy is readily accepted by those around you, it amps up the happiness energy in others and everyone falls into this trap of idiotic bliss where everything is possible, so why not conquer the world? But when you’re hurt, you have to try to contain it somehow. You have to go to work, to the store, and unless you’re an asshole you have to do your best to contain the pain inside yourself so that it doesn’t taint others. And that’s where the art comes in. Since we can’t let the pain loose like we can with happiness we have to put it somewhere, right? Something has to diffuse it or it’ll destroy you. At least that’s why I think I put so much of it into poetry, and the rest of it I just dance or yoga out. After channeling all my hurt into a poem at least I can look at it and say it was all for something.

I’m not saying I only enjoy writing and creating when I’m miserable, I love creating all the time, it’s just that it feels more necessary and potent at times when I’m at critical breaking point, you know?

Semi-related, but did you guys know there’s an awesome poetry community over on instagram? I’ve been posting a lot of smaller poems there, random thoughts that come into my head (even the happy ones!) If you guys are also on there leave your name in the comments so I can find you! You can find me over there as @taehreh.

Hope you all have a beautiful day!

The 8-hour office

They placed her in their 8-hour office
numbed her soul as they closed the door
locking her in like a bird
in a cage, demanding it sing
to impress eager visitors.

She spun in their office chair
(without the excuse of childhood)
took their humdrum pen to command
tedious technical information, but
all that came to her was poetry.

When they returned later to see
how she got on with their work,
they found an empty chair
spinning indifferently, and
marveled at her disappearance.

She found their tasks a
prosy impossibility, you see,
and she angered at the sheepish
nature of time, the clock
that couldn’t quite keep up.

So rather than wait time out
she inhaled tasty breaths of
otherworldly air, clicked her heels together
and disappeared indefinitely into her
ravenous imagination.


image from caridae at dreamstime.com
image from caridae at dreamstime.com

She speaks
in darling riddles.
Contradiction is spilled on
her windswept sleeve,
mystery fits her
dainty hand
like a tailored glove.
Those eyes,
clad so dangerously
beneath puffs of
seductive smoke,
bait our curiosity.

We tried to understand,
we became
invaders to her
razzle-dazzle imagination
but were chased out.
Sparks of her vexation
hot on our desperate heels
evoking exhilarating threats
that only succeed to
extend further invitation.

We try to sink
our audacious teeth
into everything that is her,
everything that might be her,
and we weep
because she
can’t be bothered
to bite us back.

Waist-deep now in
a pool of our own
frustrated tears,
despite our
fervent efforts
she yet remains,
properly enigmatic.