Why Do I Write: About Babies


When I write about things, it’s usually a ‘once and done’ kind of thing. I write about this mountain once, or this retreat in a couple stages, or this kind of relationship… I tend not to dwell on the same exact thing over and over again.

Unless that thing is babies.

Going over a lot of the things I’ve been writing lately, I realized that a good bit of them focus on children, children at mass being one of the constantly recurring images. Whether I am writing a reflection on Christmas or Easter, I tend to write reflections on the Christ Child rather than the man, Jesus. I’ve written more poems for and about my nieces and nephews than I have all of my lovers combined. It seems I would prefer to write about the beauty of a child’s eyes than ever look another adult in the eye, period. babies

It would be easy enough to write this off as my baby fever beginning to bleed into everything I do. I’m a twenty-two year old woman who is unmarried and itching to change that. I’ve had horrible bouts of depression where my body longs for a child, and could only really be placated by getting a pet (hence why I welcomed Seviper, my ball python, into my family. My precious, scaly little baby :3 ) I could pretend that this writing obsession with children is just a phase, or a fad, that I’ll grow out of, much like I grew out of writing about high school and college concerns, as soon as I have my own children and become tired of dealing with children all the time.

It would also be easy to excuse my baby-obsession on the fact that I work as a full-time nanny as my day-job. At the moment, I work with three boys, but most of my time is spent chilling out with the infant (who I’m pretty sure thinks of me as the red-headed food-and-fun machine). With so much of my time spent with children, it could just be a coincidence that my mind tends to be focused on children most of the time, right?

I honestly believe, however, that that would be denying one of the innermost truths of my being. Almost since the time I began even thinking about the word ‘vocation’, I always knew that I had been Created to become a mother. Every other pursuit of mine- poetry, dancing, social justice, faith, love, companionship, understanding- every little thing I do I do with my future children in mind. And this is not because I have raging baby fever that can be calmed, or that my vocation to be a mother would begin and end with the act of having and rearing my own flesh and blood. I was already becoming a mother when I was a child- in the way I saw things, in the way I reacted to things, and in the way I anticipated things. In my friendships, in my relationships, in my work… in everything I do I behave in such a way as to make myself a better mother; a better me in general. I’ve come to the realization that I write so much about children, with the imagery of children, because it is one of the main ways in which I see this world; through the eyes of a mother, in which I have the responsibility of a mother to everyone and everything in my vicinity. I am more compassionate when I view my enemy as someone else’s child. I am more patient when I think about my friends’ mother talking them through the situation that is vexing to me. I am quicker to pity, rather than despise, when I look at others through the eyes of their mother.

So it is only right that I would display this in the purest way that I ‘see’: through my writing, and especially my poetry. It is in my metaphors, in my dedication to the Holy Mother, in manipulating the imagery of my own mother, in writing indirectly to my future children, and love letters to the children of others. Everyone is somebody’s baby- as someone who believes in her own vocation as a mother, it is hard for me to see the world in any other light.

How does your vocation in life change the way you see? Whether you write or read, how are you affected?

Why Do I Write: With Such Weird Titles


Sometimes in my poetry, my titles make sense. They fit the mood of the poem, or reveal something more about the poem if you look up what that specific phrase (such is the case with Laughter of the Spirit and Liminal Space).

But then there are the others. Poems with titles like ‘Ponyboy’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘Monkey’, ‘Running Man’, ‘Aegipan’, ‘Snake’, ‘Mountain Man’ etc. If you’ve at all noticed, these kind of weirdly named poems tend to be love or lust poems. That’s because all of these weird titles are actually nicknames. Some of them are boyfriends I’ve had, some of them are flings, some of them are crushes or personal fantasies about people. Some of these men know their nicknames (and hence know which poems are about them), and some of them don’t (thank goodness). These weird titles are, in fact, dedications of sorts- while the poem itself may be open to being applied to the reader’s own sense of what love and lust may be, and may relate to the reader’s experience of such things in the consuming of the poem, the title belongs only to the person that the poem is dedicated to.

Now I’ve dated quite a bit, being a person who enjoys immensely the entire hoopla that comes with dating casually (dating seriously has always been an entirely different thing for me), as well as being someone who has always been fascinated by what I would consider to be the beauty of the opposite sex’s place in my own life, so I have a lot of poems about men and how I view them in different stages of awe, desire, longing and questioning. Not all of them are denoted with nicknames. Some of them have normal love poem names, ‘Your Fingers’, ‘Thirteen Years’, ‘I Like You’, ‘On the Shore of Coronado’, etc. These poems will never be as personal as the ones that have nicknames attached to them. While the poems themselves are always addressed to a specific person, the poems without nicknames are always a larger reflection on the feeling of love, desire, longing, etc. rather than the ways in which that specific man elicits those feelings, whereas the poems with nicknames will always focus on how a specific person makes me feel.

So there’s a little insight into how I name my poems (which all of my titles are important, I may expand on the other titles later). As a reader of poetry, do you take much notice of the titles of poems? As a writer of poetry, do you spend much time on your titles/ use titles at all?

Update: February Progresses


I’m beginning to find that not being enrolled in classes has severely thrown off my writing groove. What time I allot for writing usually goes wholly to my fiction work (which I’ve been making some pretty great strides in), and there’s not much room for the spontaneity in sitting and writing that I used to get during lectures. Most of the time I either forget to bring my poetry book with me when inspiration does hit, or I’ve so been stuck into my routine of work-working out-writing-reading that I don’t feel like I’ve much new material to write about. Reading new poetry has been helping, but I still feel like I need more of a kick in the pants. So I’ve decided that I’m going to go back through old archives, things I wrote back in high school, and start some dissection work. Strip old work down to its bones and build from there. Not promising anything major from that, but it at least might help me put together a bit of new material. Though its not like I’ve completely dried up- I’ve written a handful of new things here and there, some of which I’ve already submitted out to various journals- but things are particularly slow on the poetry end.

Still working through submitting my collection of love poetry out to different houses, which is a long wait in and of itself, and waiting for a lot of my current religious poetry to be published through the venues that have acquired some of the single poems before I can submit out my current waiting manuscript of poetry, The Shattered Deity: The Struggle to Find God in All Things. So on the submission and publication front, I’m playing a long waiting game that will just off the bat have a lot less payout than normal.

To make up for that, I’ve been going around revamping all of my different social networking sites, including my Myspace, my Poets & Writers profile, my LinkedIn, etc. Making sure everything is entirely up to date, basically. I’ve also decided that I’m going to make it a personal project to go through old print journals and scan in some of my published poetry, start the process of posting some of my already-established work online in order to spread it about further. I’m most excited about that part, honestly, as it’s looking like it will be the most fun!

Hopefully these little tasks will help rejuvenate my muse for poetry writing again, as much as doing little things like this has immensely helped with keeping me on point over in the fiction arena!