I have been looking at what I do recently, comparing it with what other poets do. For those of you out there who say artists shouldn't compare themselves to each other, I can't help it. I am past the whole thing about comparing myself to see who writes best. I know I don't and I am okay wit that. What I am talking about is where most of my poetry comes from. Most of what I write deals with the past. My past, the distant past of my home town, but not so much the recent past. I seem to have a disconnect between the narrative "I" in a poem if it means talking about who I was just a month or year ago. Ask me who I was 30 years ago and you can't stop my tongue from flapping. However, if you want me to write truthfully about who I am now, record some episode from my recent, real life, then I shut down.
I see a lot of other people write about their lives and I see people who can weave their lives into these wonderful poems which are quite moving, but that's not me. I write poems based in history, and anything more recent than say the past 20 years is going to be skipped as a possible topic for a poem or simply be terrible---too terrible to survive even the first draft. Another thing I would love to try is magical realism. I can't seem to get my feet off the ground when it comes to writing/creating a magical realm for my psyche to inhabit. I can make strange observations, but that isn't really the same, is it? I am not complaining, mid you, I am just wondering how we (poets) fall into the familiar routines we seem to when creating our poetry.
Is that all there is to voice, being able to tell a poem without seeing the name? I'd like to think that's at least part of it, knowing a poet before seeing a name. I guess I just need to be content to be writing about anything, really. At least I am writing