Why I haven’t published a poem since 2017

It certainly wasn’t my intention to go this long without publishing a single poem. The only “remarkable” thing I’ve done in my public-facing creative life since 2017 has been my debut short film, Please Open A Door For Me, which was filmed in 2018, then subsequently premiered in 2019. I also performed a few times in 2018 and 2019.

2017 was a challenging year for me—probably the most challenging of my life thus far. Somehow, my creative life was on fire. I was performing and modeling and collaborating often. Yet behind the curtain, I was pushed to my edge, totally and completely over how I was living and how spread thin I always felt. So, I decided to make changes—lots of them.

I threw out 10 years work of notebooks. I became straight edge and vegan (again). I vowed to remain celibate and completely quit dating. I conducted an audit of nearly all of my friendships. I started meditating almost every day, something I was never able to accomplish before. I even quit caffeine.

Most of these changes coincided with a solar eclipse that occurred that year. I recall being on the rooftop of the homeless shelter I worked at in downtown LA. some of my coworkers and various residents of the shelter had all gathered on the roof with their special glasses; I used a stack of film negatives, and we all looked up at the sky.

I finished my last in-n-out grilled cheese and oat latte right before it peaked and never looked back.

The irony is that I spent most of 2017 working on a collection of poems (under the working title Succubus), but it never saw the light of day. After stepping into my new world, it felt impossible to revisit that past.

Then came the new year: I fell in love with my partner, received a promotion at the shelter, got into an accident that totaled my car, and avoided editing my Succubus project at all costs because I felt so haunted by its content.

The year after that was even more eventful. I moved from LA to New Orleans, started a job at an ad agency, lived in 4 different homes, and had another car get totaled in a flood.

Then came 2020. . .well, we already all know how that story goes. On top of all the mayhem of this past year, I also managed to move across the country again and start another new job.

All the while, it has felt like something is “happening” inside me, a massive and irrevocable transformation—one that brings me closer to myself, like a ship making a sharp turn, cutting through the ocean’s surface slowly, working with the force of water against its hull.

I’ve spent the past few months writing poetry again, and my poems are looking for a home. But the landscape has shifted so much in 3 years. Publications have risen and fallen. Publishers have shifted towards poems that perform wokeness and explicitly promote particular brands of social justice. Resources are spread thin. People are spread thin.

If you have a call for submissions, please let me know.

Meanwhile, I plan on using this space to talk about my creative process and the projects I’m working on.