In graduate school I learned to sing the body electric. The program I attended was more about souls and songs and art and heart and expression than it was about lectures and footnotes and appendices and theses. We created and explored. We put font to music. We made books and paper and poetry.
At first, I balked at the artsy fartsyness of it all. I wanted to be a serious student, with serious success, large textbooks, late nights at the library over microfiche, bibliographic complexity. Instead I got professors who encouraged us to open class with an African blessing to the dawn, who wanted artistic presentations on feminist gods, who expected me to dig, dig, dig deep into wells of pain and self and remembrance and hope to create art. It was all so much kumbaya and not enough cross-referencing. At first. But gradually, with eye-rolls and exasperated huffs and hesitant inchings toward release, I succumbed to the power in their poetry, the worth of their wonder. And I'm a better writer for it.
Today's blogger reminds me of that time in graduate school, when I sloughed off some of that rigid academia to embrace the tickle of words. Maya at One Paragraph at a Time is a poet who would have fit in nicely with my crowd of wordmongers.
I hesitate to tell you her blog is almost entirely poetry. But wait! I know. I thought the same thing at first. A whole blog? Over four years of posts? With nothing but poetry? Pass. But stick with me here because Maya can write some damn poetry. I actually like it. Kind of a lot. Her writing is contemplative and introspective and deliberate and lovely and tactile and thoughtful. She writes about nostalgia and sex ("he was all hers, one locked muscle of utter fealty") and lies. Her poetry is honest and mature and revealing. Every word is revered, precisely chosen, and treasured.
I just read an entire blog of poetry. I can't believe it, either, but I did. And I loved it. Oh, the template is boring, and Maya could stand to roll up her archives. But the template doesn't even matter because her artistry is on the screen, in those words I want to roll around on my tongue, those words that delight my eyes. This is not some angsty teenage blithering with rhymed, insipid dreck. This is real, this is art, and this is good.
*My title is stolen from Maya @ One Paragraph at a Time.