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    Coming to Terms

    What has always been very clear to me as a poet is that my sense of self, or personal identity, is at the core of why I write and what I write. The more I have been able to grow in my understanding of that mysteriously, lucid self, in all its complex simplicity, the more I have learned to be radically honest about writing work that confesses me into this world. So, coming to terms, as I do daily, with the ongoing revelation of being a bisexual, married father with Asperger’s Syndrome who is also a Buddhist recovering from drug addiction and a post-Christian traumatic childhood, is a practice for me of meditation, listening and writing myself into this beautifully tormented place we call home.

    When I read poetry that starts somewhere outside of a person’s body or life, I can easily become aversive to what sounds and feels like a gasping for breath, a choking on cleverness, or strange ideas, that the poet has made this arrangement with to take the place of themselves. The incarnational nature of poetry is key to it being a visceral force of art that has the potential to create catharsis, which is all that really matters to me, that, and doing that in community with others, where it begins to sound quite dangerous and healing, like a magnet, teaching the nails to dance, or a house being built from happy bones.