Aside from restaurants, I don’t really try new things. I know. Where’s my sense of adventure? It’s comforting though, always knowing exactly how something is going to turn out or being able to predict your own reaction to something. Not to mention, it’s a hell of a lot easier. I like easy. For that reason, I’m not entirely sure why I decided to try something new because poetry is super hard. At the beginning of March I decided to stop spamming my real-life friends with novel excerpts and pictures of my scribble-filled journal on Instagram and made a profile just for my writing life. If you want to check it out you can do so here. Other than a significant decrease in virtual eye rolling, one of the best side-effects of this decision was the sudden exposure to a lot of really awesome poetry. Like TONS of it.
The beauty of the novel format – which is what I write almost exclusively – the emotional response comes as the result of a slow burn, painstakingly nurtured over hundreds, sometimes thousands of words. It builds atop smaller moments of illumination until it reaches the single explosion that is epiphany as all the pieces click into place.
InstaPoetry (Poetry found on Instagram for those of you still nursing that case of the Mondays), as a result of its generally constricted format brings about your emotional connection like a swift kick to the face. It is raw. It is powerful and impactful. A blunt force reaction that has been condensed into a mere handful of words that can cause you to question everything in a single silent tear or want to explode through your front door so that the world can marvel in your elation.
Obviously I want to be able to do that to people. Frequently.
Rather than the respect and admiration I should have felt towards these phenomenal artists, my immediate response was jealously. Next was a whole lot of Pffffffffffft! I can do that.
A handful of attempts made it painfully apparent that this is going to be something that needs a lifetime of exploration, practice, and frustration. I do not think it will help, but it is worth a shot. So I have set it upon myself to spend the beginning of each of my writing sessions tinkering with a poem. I only wish I had not spent the majority of the lone poetry course I took in college playing Pokémon on the internet in class. Luckily I need only to open my Instagram account to be shamed into returning to my proverbial workbench.
To those wonderful InstaPoets already slaying it out there: Respect.
Also, I hate you.
Until next time, spend some time kicking around #Instapoems.
P.S. If you want some more guided direction, drop a comment below and I’ll point you in the direction of some of my favorite InstaPoets.