Poetry isnt just a deft use of words, of language; it’s an acute sense of nuance. Not merely the contradictions and absurdities of life, but the breath of each yes that can with equal veracity be no, the maybes that can be probablies, the simplicities so nuanced as to be complex, the desires that proudly declare their confusion and make poetry of it. Poetry that inspires us to not merely look at the whole picture, but to be whole. In other words, poetry that heals, that wounds, that soothes and angers, that does all a man does.

Such poetry reflects not learning as much as the spirit of a champion race horse, bred to run regardless—and snort at all it encounters. But even more, it exudes the substance of its shadows, all the light and dark shading of the poet’s experience, down to a moment that barely exists yet bears the years that mark him. And that make of him a tiny supernova in a sky in love with myths . . . and moments . . . and the nuances of all his moments, psychological and sensual. Making of his consciousness an art, not pure but alloyed joyfully with the nuances, those openings to truth synonymous with freedom.

The freedom I speak of is the freedom to fully experience life. Neither to fear nor deny our innermost perceptions which bring to awareness the seemingly infinite variety of interpretations for a given stimulus, this or that experience. Absent freedom, or enough of it, poetry cannot be since it is—and every good poem is—an instance of heightened, intensified, sensitized consciousness.

Who wants to read a pile of ordinary words hymning the ordinariness of the ordinary? Do I hear the word, boring? If poetry is not born to some extent of freedom—expressly the freedom to perceive, to experience in a highly nuanced, not to say a highly spirited way—it can only be born of the tried, tested, predictable and boring, and if you ask me that’s simply not poetry worth the name.