This free choice poem was inspired by the idea that all art forms are an addiction to the artist. This addiction is what allows them to thrive creatively and excel in their art forms, but it can also lead to them becoming a physical manifestation of the work they create. However, quitting the addiction isn’t an option for one who depends on creativity to fuel their life.
Sometimes, I think I have
more poetry inside me than blood.
Mixed into my flesh, it has made its home
deep inside my bones; It was
written into my chromosomes long before I
even learned how to breathe.
Poetry is addictive.
When it comes to love, I have been handed men
made of rose petals who wilt so much faster than
I can water them, nurture them, save them.
When it comes to breaking, I have always
shattered unevenly. Jaggedly and incompletely
and never a reflection of the purity I so desperately crave.
But when it comes to writing, I am not myself. Or
perhaps I am so much myself that I don’t recognize
her – the girl with forest fire eyes and piano key fingers.
I think I am half in love with her and half afraid.
Dance says the ocean
As my pen waltzes across the petals of the paper
Breathe whispers the moon
As I kiss the lips of my new character
Pour cries the sky
As the saltwater mixes with simile like a potion.
Here, I am in control. Here, I am powerful.
I crave it.
Every minute of every day, it is an itch I can never
truly scratch, a murmur in my ear that I don’t
want to get rid of. It sounds more like music than
any melody I’ve ever heard.
It claws at my toes with talons and scrapes
the inside of my scalp
until I submit and the blood pooling in my veins
drips onto the paper. My poetry is
written in red for a reason.
I need it.
These poems are mine and only mine –
the greatest love affair I have ever had. And like any drug,
the writing climbs inside me
past my ribs that have never been any good at protecting
my heart because there has never been enough love to protect
in the first place then
Past my vena cava until it is so deep inside me
that it brushes
against my soul.
Mind, body, soul –
I belong to the words until I become them
Submitting to every desire because the poets I adore
make them sound so beautiful
bad intentions and reckless decisions become inspiration
to use in my next piece
It’s so easy to write when you are immersed by the darkness
Lovers who are only interested in touching, taking, leaving
bring the tears I drown in
and I’ve never been good at swimming so
I use them for the art
Ms. Plath once told me that dying was an art
and like poetry, we have both learned
to do it exceptionally well.
I think she was addicted too.
4 thoughts on “The Artist’s Addiction”
I’m sure you’re getting tired of hearing this by now, but you’re a great writer, do you know that? I can’t help but get ensnared into your writing whenever I read it. It speaks to me on so many levels, I think I’ve become addicted to it (pun intended). I wish to mention especially your word choice. Structure and symbolism aside, I believe that you always manage to choose those words which my eye cannot help but desire. Your diction choices give your writing so much more depth, it’s almost like a fun maze with arrows, and there’s always a prize at the end. Of course, your word choice was the very thing which intimidated me the most, but I think that’s all the more incentive to read your work. It really makes a difference, to me at least, and your poem wouldn’t have been the same without it. Thank you for that.
Now, I don’t want another incident like the one I had on Hope’s blog last year, where I was so unable to find an area of growth that I spent an entire paragraph apologizing. But seriously, my feeble mind was so shocked while reading your blog. After many hours of consideration, I’ve decided to settle for this: I just find that sometimes I end up getting so lost in your wording and all, that I forget about what you’re actually trying to say until the end. Now, I don’t want you to change your wording, I just feel like there are some places you could’ve added a comma or period, so as to give the reader a chance to fathom what they just read. Especially when the reader is someone like me, who has the innate ability to stop thinking entirely when presented with greatness.
I sincerely want to thank you for writing this as your free choice. It opens so many options for me, and it makes me want to try poetry as well, as it is something I have hid from for so long. It truly is the work of a genius.
Thank you for your beautiful comment! I am so glad you liked it and were able to take something away from my writing. I always feel honoured whenever I read your work. And LOL, hours of consideration. I know that my relationship with punctuation has been… on and off. But I completely understand and accept that there are some poems and sections in poems where I do need a comma or period. So thank you for your feedback!
Let’s start with the “criticism” so we can get this over with and move on to the good stuff. I agree with Muhammad, how On EARTH am I supposed to find anything wrong with your poem?! Honestly?! If I have to suggest something, it would just be that I’d perhaps like to read the poem before the explanation, unadulterated by prose, but that’s just because I like playing detective and figuring out the author’s message for myself. So that is hardly a criticism and more of a weird personal preference. And then again, I totally understand why you explained it first, so I’m not even wholeheartedly in agreement with my own suggestion.
Okay, here’s the good part of my comment. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from reading the title alone (obviously I expected incredible things, though I wasn’t sure what form those incredible things would take), but the second I began the poem, I was in love. Your poem is both beautiful and relatable. Often, people seem to sacrifice one for the other; beautiful writing can be absolutely ravishing, but the parts of it that really speak to a person can get lost in all the lovely convolutions. Such writing can often enter the realm of philosophy, and while it delivers universal truth, it may not deliver personal truth. You are able to deftly select words that convey rich meaning, creating that elusive beauty, while still speaking to the reader on a personal level. It’s like the idea that a painting with perfectly placed, bold strokes can capture a form’s vitality and soul better than one with fussy detail. Excellent work here!
I also love the very idea of your work – that an artist can become so addicted to her craft that life itself takes on a secondary role; her life merely becomes a means to achieve her primary goal, the creation of art (Me in ART 30 woop woop). I also love the originality of your topic! This is not a subject that I’ve ever heard discussed before, but I feel like you have synthesized a truth that has been hanging in the air around me for years. Your poem starts off with an explanation on why you write poetry – a relatively light subject. However, it soon delves into the madness of addiction and artistry, an idea that may seem niche or unrealistic to less artistic individuals, had you not began your poem with a rock-solid justification, ‘Mixed into my flesh, it has made its home/deep inside my bones; It was/written into my chromosomes long before I/even learned how to breathe”. (LOVE THIS! Also, YASS Bio 30!) With this introduction, you expand your audience to those who are addicted to anything, not just art. This is just more proof that you write with purpose and deep-thought, and maybe proof that you DO have a poetry gene irl.
Thanks for sharing this exquisite work!
First of all, thank you so much for reading and commenting on my blog!! You are such an exceptional writer so I am honoured that you liked the poem. I completely understand the idea of a reader wanting to actually experience the poem without explanation, finding out the meaning of the work for themselves – as all interpretations might be a little different. I think the reason why I put explanations first is so the reader isn’t completely lost trying to navigate what I’m saying in all my metaphor and imagery, but maybe I’ll switch it up next time. And yes, Bio 30 has been my muse for the past two months hahaha. I think if I have the poetry gene, you do too.