Although I’m a blogger elsewhere, this is my first blog post for PBQ, and it’s an honor to be here!
In this moment of the waning work day, under keen fluorescent lights and some sinister ceiling pipes whose purpose I’ve never understood, I’m seeking answers from other poets: Are poetry and a day job incompatible? Journalism flourishes under lights like this–essays, sometimes, and blog posts, vaguely passive-aggressive work emails, Facebook status updates. But poems seem–to me, anyway–to require a little more insulation around the wire of a poem-driving experience or emotion.
I think–I’ve read enough interviews with poets to guess–that often means time and space, quiet and light, no commotion, or maybe the unworklike commotion of the public library reading room. I have a feeling there are a lot of poets who romanticize the lives of other poets who are getting writing done–academics with their summers off, non-academics with their free evenings and weekends, parents with their constant source of inspiration, non-parents with their enviable flexibility, people in writing-related jobs who get to bat around words all day, people in totally physical jobs whose minds are free to make up the words to bat aroun, people with the luxury to be online all day and look up species of turtle, people delivered from the crazed humming of the internet who can imagine the turtles all by themselves and make up names for them till they can look them up in the encyclopedia.
For my part, I’ve found a surprising source of poem-writing: tapping on my iPhone while at the movies. It’s a strangely fertile environment. If it gets poems written, I’m good with it. But it would be nice to have a poetry break during a lunch break and have it work as well as the movies do.