The piece below is the experience of writer's block itself in a prose-styled, poetic essay. Experiencing the poetry in the present world is aided by dialogue--a realization a Liberty Cab driver gave me while running late for school one day. When experiencing writer's block, I found that being aware of the poetry around you is better than trying to invoke or create it. My advice for anyone in a similar boat is that when your poetic thoughts aren't coming out, simply look up from the page and inhale the poetry you live until it flows from your fingers and back on to the page.
Often, I wonder about what I can do to get over closed bridges to poetic thought. Writer’s block is a closure. Before physically transporting to a new (possibly different) place, I want to attempt to capture the sublime and overcome such an obstacle. Typically, immediately after experiencing the awe or horror of a scene, poetry would flow through me river-like--a fluidity, as water under a bridge of elevated emotion and thought. However, the stream of current events has been very distracting, forming boulders and boulders of writer's’ block. What does one--who was once inspired by the immediacy of the moment--do when current events are the very things causing blockage?
Recently, I encountered a taxi cab driver who helped me find the answer to that question after missing the shuttle bus to school. What he did through normal dialogue is trigger what I haven’t noticed: When something is in the way, you just have to climb it; go around it, because that’s what rivers do. With an exchange of words, he made me realize the irony of the moment, often the poem itself. It is then I realized that it is not one's momentum, but one's view that moves the pen. Thanks to that exchange, I wrote a stream of consciousness poem called “If You Miss Your Shuttle, Call a Taxi Cab.”
If You Miss Your Shuttle, Call a Taxi Cab
How long would it be before the plunder? Of new lands like Heaven, Valhalla, Elysium, Mictlan; any place un-mangled under the Misconstrued? Because dollars signs are easier to read than protest signs for environmental protection. They already got Narnia. Yes, the CGI is amazing and the land there is abundant with resources, but none of that should be for sale. It’s trademarked, already controlled by 4 white kids; where the girls are constantly undermined by the boys with their anger issues, trying to be heroes in all the movies. Just like Hollywood likes it.
At my destination, I pulled out a 20 (plus tip) and thanked the man for the ride and poem. He said, “I am grateful, sir. I hope we meet again in the stars. If not, call me and I’ll take you there.”
My blog's focus is to make poetry accessible.
Julio Montalvo Valentin is co-founder of Cringe Worthy Poets Collective and Just Poets of Rochester. He writes Semi-confessional, socially awkward poetry as an attempt to become immortal.