So I’m thrilled to finally be investing some time in this page and it seems my efforts aren’t going unrewarded. We had a great month in September with nearly 9k views and I look forward to topping those numbers this month. To my first 100 followers, thanks so much for helping to make Mykie Writes It successful. I find it’s really reinvigorating my love of the craft and my confidence in my writing and what I’m trying to accomplish with this series. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of the kind and encouraging comments on my work and it really delights me to know that most people stick around to read more than one. It feels great to be supported by other writers again, after experiencing a mass exodus that took place when my cognitive symptoms impeded my progress.
Now onto this week’s poem, which is actually not from Elemental. I’m honestly not sure if it’s a poem or a song, exactly. Spoken word maybe? It has a very specific beat in my head. Hopefully you can hear it, too. I feel like it needs to be sung, or chanted. I was listening a lot to old school hip hop and enjoying a mild obsession with a Tribe Called Red when I wrote it. I’m not surprised it has a rap-like quality to it.
I see a few ways to interpret this poem. Once I release a piece into the world, it’s really no longer mine. It becomes a collaboration between poet and reader and transforms into something else. No matter my original intentions, I can never fully know what thoughts, ideas, memories, or specific pictures it might evoke in someone else. To me, that’s one of the most beautiful things about poetry; it’s so open to interpretation. I’d love to hear your take on it, or any of my poems.
Survey of a Poet
My body is a map of a people’s history
Broken and defeated by mother nature and genealogy.
My torso is a guide to all you’ve ever done to me.
The broken lines lead nowhere; nowhere you can reap.
This isn’t Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood.
You can’t see it on my face. It’s invisible
Internal damage, these lines are wounds; this is my latitude.
Check it out. I’m painting a portrait for you.
Can’t hide these chains; they’re here for all the world to see.
There’s still beauty here. Beauty still survives.
It resides within my beat
by Michelle Beltano Curtis
All rights reserved. “Survey of a Poet” may not be reprinted without permission.