April is a month of tension and indecision. For every day of sunshine, there is another day of rain. For every warm afternoon there is a 10 degree drop waiting in the evening. For those in school it is a mad rush toward something like completion. For those at work, it’s a month of taxes, and allocating vacation. For writers, it’s here: the busy season of launches, events, new projects, and new publications.

Since I became a poet, I’ve come to know more about hopes being given and taken than perhaps I’d like. Amidst the rejections from magazines, from workshops, from programs, from grant organizations, and the acceptances few and far in between, how do I nurture the words in me in order to continue?

I’ve taken to reading poems out loud to my friends if they’ll let me: on the couches at home in the afternoon, at a coffee shop over dessert, after dinner with a cup of tea… I remember reading an article one day that explored the once-social norm of reading out loud, and have decided to resume the practice in my life ever since.

Since becoming someone who reads out loud to her friends, I’ve taken that slow and quiet journey from being an immensely private writer, to considering the joy that might come from reading to a public. This action is always a tension in me, and a tension that remains like a taut rope even while I’m at the microphone.

What I have come to love is how poem fills my voice with something else. I have always thought poetry was the sinew around my backbone; the thing allowing me posture, strength and capacity. But now poetry also as the fullness of sound and space. Sometimes so full it feels empty.

This blog is loosely an exploration of poetry – through music, through photography, through literature and any other possibility I might cross paths with. Poetry waits between the words and me and so sometimes, that means poetry is the world.

This month’s OOTC is poetry of the visual kind. I call this the fresh satisfaction of a newly watered garden. I call this the feeling of peeling back an onion’s old skin before the sting. I call this the last cycle of rinse and repeat.

Just rinse. and now uncrumple.

[edit] DSC04406[edit] DSC04281[edit] DSC04420[edit] DSC04416[edit] DSC04427

[edit] DSC04379

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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