a poem by greg milinovich
(side note: the word poem is a widely defined word, and by poem here i simply mean that this is a collection of words particularly put together to express what is in my heart, without deference to rules of grammar or the norms of communication. this is not a poetry in the classical sense, but only in the sense that it is a cornocopia of letters and words that, when arranged a certain way, say what i need to say in a way that can't be said in any other way. that is all.)
i write because i need to.
because not writing smells deathly and dead.
because, strangely, there is blood coursing through all the inches of tangled tubes inside my skin, and it is pounding out a rhythm that i can't quite make out. just below the surface it keeps speaking to me, saying, "i am alive because...." and then i never hear the rest.
so i write.
i write because i still see so much and
because there is infinitely more that i know i'm not seeing.
i write because sometimes it seems so much like summer, like great bulbous words are just being birthed all around me and i can't help but walk through the fields of my life and pick them from the vine - they're so colorful! - and make a mess of myself eating them there on the spot, swallowing their sweetness and spitting out the seeds.
i write because that wild-toothed madman uncle walt would have me continue to discover this america, even if it isn't always the burpingly industrial teenager he once celebrated but has become a stubborn and confused adult.
i write because i am a geyser, the pressure building in me relentlessly - faithfully - until it springs up uncontrolled and angry, vertically, toward the maker and babel-mixer of language.
i write because the words practically beg for me to write them, and i simply find myself submitting to the nature of things; for the same reasons that
i write because sometimes it seems so much like winter, like the words are crystalline and serene, lying around like blankets of snow, just waiting for me to slightly melt them and put them together and new and different ways; that through my digging around in them and holding them in my bright red hands they might become more than they once were: a fort, perhaps, or the great fat belly of a leaning snowperson, or even a snowball to be hurled through the freezing white sky right at you.
i write to hit you square in the face.
i write to scratch that spot that i can't otherwise reach.
i write to try and make sense of situations and circumstances, to take the great piles of words around me and start gluing them together in ways that i can see through - ways that take shapes that move around and move me. and maybe move you.
i write because the spirit says write.
but sometimes i write to seem clever. or because guilt tells me it's time.
i write because sometimes it seems so much like spring, with words falling like rain, just drenching me, so that all i can do is tuck myself under an umbrella and watch the great sheets of them falling from heaven. each bit is a tiny reflector, a wet and life-filled drop of something from above, something i both desperately need and instinctively shelter myself from.
i write because sometimes life squeezes me - crushes me even - until the words start oozing from my pores, without my control, without a filter, and the words then are wildly honest and authentic.
i write because sometimes it seems so much like autumn, when the wild wind shakes me and the words cling to me like clothes, like dried up pieces of fire ember desperately hanging on. when they are finally pulled from me to their dancing descent, i am naked and exposed, all my awkward bony joints showing and cracking right in front of you.
i write because i can't let the trees of the field do it alone.
i write because i pray.
i write because life is too unbelievable to just receive it as it comes to me. i must write it out.
i write because i'm tired of the same old strings of words in tediously predictable chains, wrought of iron and typically used to restrain and order and prohibit. i write because i need words to invite, to inspire to encourage and to enlighten.
i write because i play.
i write because there are too many weeping pencils, shedding great yellow tears for the untapped potential and their pointed ends. i write for the scrape and drag of graphite on fibered paper. i write to add my stroke - my stitch - to the quilted question mark that humanity has been making all these generations.
i write to discover the moon, and the man inside the mirror.
i write to say i love you.
i write because i believe.
i write because i need help with my unbelief.
i write because i'm broken.
i write because i want to scratch myself into some tree bark, to make sure i can be heard among the ageless and countless voices echoing down the hallway: i am here! i am alive! i am amazed at all this! can you hear me?
so i write.