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Bike ShadowWhile riding my bicycle today, the short phrase “we pretended” clocked me upside my head. Poetry happens that way often, at least for me. The germ of a brick in the monument of poetic writing gets delivered in odd, most often inconvenient places.

Last year I published a series of poems which I titled the “iPhone Phollies.” They were so named because I wrote them on my iPhone as I pedaled down quiet, tree-lined trails. This is not always convenient (or wise). This morning I have a class to teach and many, many things on my plate to accomplish.

Choosing craft over “society’s” view of what should be done, often separates an artist from a left-brained, agenda driven personality. Neither side is any better than the other, in my opinion, because each side has a place within an individual’s personality. Too many people in my life have attempted (much of the time successfully) to pigeon-hole me into a left-brained, analytical persona.

I possess that capability, sure. But I prefer creativity. These days, I am highly criticized for that. I’ve been called some pretty fowl things because I’ve chosen to address life on my terms and with my questions and creativity. This blog was born of that need within me.

I love my fictions. I love to pretend. I love to project scenarios. I’ve found that I need the grounding of addressing life in combination with creativity. I need to express emotional highs and lows so others may step out of their pretense and into at least snagging a moment of resonance. At least they may know, if only for a moment’s reading, that they are not alone.

I do realize that sometimes my writing is couched in vague brushstrokes and searching for poetic license. But I won’t shy away from writing life as real as I feel it. “We pretended” not only looks at our nation, but at individuals as well. Probably much more to cover than four stanzas can attain, but the attempt is to capture some intense, disturbing truths we tend to pretend don’t happen near us if not to us.

As I stated, I must go teach a class. Today’s National Poetry Writing Month poem, Day #9:

We Pretended


We pretended atrocities never happened
Idyllic Americans in prosperity’s haze
We pretended our world could skirt reality
Through music and movies and fancy possessions

We pretended abuse was limited to physical
Bruises and bones the only nebulous proof
We pretended we knew what defined normal
While no one attained its smoky tenants.

We pretended relationship melding
A couple in number only
We pretended all things to ‘know’
Blindly following destructive rules and ruinous philosophies

There comes a time to grapple with life
To desist from foisting control over another
There comes a time to step into responsibility toward another
And end the cruel cycle of pretense.