Poetry's kind of like a medicine ball, isn't it? It's a bit archaic, especially when I could make a YouTube video that's a montage over a song that I hope evokes my emotions. But get to using a medicine ball and you realize why it's effective: it works out more of your body than a lot of other simple exercises.
The medicine ball is just a ball, yes, but you can't toss it, right? It requires your entire body to pass the thing off to the other person and the more you do it, the easier it gets but you also get to using just the specific muscles related to throwing it. At first, when you're not used to doing it, you have to use other muscles to compensate for the ones that aren't up to par yet.
You really can't catch it easily either, can you? It's not like a football where you can catch it on the run or a baseball where you can make an amazing dive. It requires you to be firmly planted to catch it, to be prepared. If you were thrown a medicine ball and didn't know it, it might well knock you down, even if you were strong enough to handle it. The medicine ball is a specific experience that's particularly old, yes, but does something other exercises cannot: it works you out.
I think poetry for me is a way to connect to philosophy. I grew up with a very philosophical Dad, always considering the nature of humanity and the issues that arise from being aware of our awareness. Poetry, which I am capitalizing only at the beginning of sentences, is a way of connecting the "I" within my barrier of skin to the outer-"I," the world beyond my skin. It's true: we are the same atoms that surround us but somehow we are not part of them- we are not part of the world. Language connects me back to it, I feel.
I've been having a hard time getting my manuscript published. It's gotten far in some places but mostly nowhere. Sure, it could go back in a drawer, but I think there are parts of it that really appeal to me and I like to think appeal beyond me. It's a long manuscript made of long poems, I know, so I wonder if the problem is merely structural. It's hard to say. I wonder if I couldn't break it down into more poems and call it a day. I feel like dismissing it by saying it sucks or whatever discounts that it did make it some distance in various contests and things. I'm not going to be one of those folks that blames the contest system, surely, but I do wonder how it would do it with a community-like press.
I've edited the manuscript somewhat, cutting an entire section but also going through the long poems and cutting it into individual poems. We shall see.