hat army

Why I Write Poetry

There are a trillion books on how to write poetry — but how few people actually write about why write poetry?

Some of my personal thoughts:

To express a deeper gratitude to reality

Words are often too basic. I like to write essays and make videos and stuff, but to express a deeper, more profound appreciation of reality, it seems poetry is the only viable way.

Poetry digs deeper. Poetry reveals more of your own soul.

When I write poetry, I need to be so insanely happy and grateful towards reality and being alive, that poetry almost comes spontaneously to me. I never force myself to write a poem. The poems almost force themselves upon me when I feel overwhelming joy and happiness.

How I write poems

I usually am walking or at the gym (without listening to music), and some ideas randomly pop into my head. These words feel like little ‘mantras’ or something like that.

For example, today I attempted a new PR in my squat (365 pounds). And in order to hype myself up, I muttered “JUGGERNAUT” (inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s verse on CONTROL where he says, ‘I’m the juggernaut all up in your throat.” I then visualized JUGGERNAUT (marvel character) busting through the walls, and his insane strength. I then tried to channel that into my lift. I kept saying ‘juggernaut’ over and over again in my head.

Then while I’m still hyping myself up, I then started to mutter ‘MONSTER’ to myself, in my head. Why? MONSTER seemed a little easier to pronounce in my head, and I have recently been listening to the ‘Godzilla’ song by Eminem a lot, which Juice World has the “MONSTER” chorus. And I like the idea of me hyping myself up to become a monster before my epic ‘one rep max’ attempts.

The writing of the poem

When I write, I just use IA WRITER on my laptop or iPad or phone, then I start off by jotting words — sometimes rhyming, sometimes not. I follow a certain cadence and rhythm I got in my head, to no particular beat. I just follow some internal rhythm inside myself.

Don’t force yourself to write poetry, but don’t be afraid to write it either.

I have never studied poetry. Consequently, I never felt that I was ‘qualified’ or “allowed” to write poetry. But the biggest hype-man was Cindy, who told me:

Yes, you can write poetry!

I like thinking of poetry with a lower-letter “p” (kind of like how I approach art with a lower-letter ‘a’). Art and poetry are not for the privileged few; it is the most open and democratic art-creation form. And anyone who tries to bully you NOT to write poetry or art is just an insecure petty soul.


Ceiling clouds. New York Public Library. Pentax 645Z