journal, mt. hollywood summit
if butterflies are symbols of transformation then mt. hollywood must be a place of transformation because it’s always swarming with butterflies up here. they make me nervous.
how to wear myself
a swirl of cloth
tied at the elbows
expectation of give—
I never learned
what holding firm is.
untitled (ghosts) self portrait series, 2019.
I wanted to be born.
I wanted to be a ghost?
is slow like
I wear my skin
as a costume.
-how does the body work?
-what does the body hold together within & without itself?
-what does the body hold?
-where in the body is the ‘self’ located?
-how can language or thought interact with the physical body?
-how does the body need language in order to exist?
s y m b i o s i s
bringer of bright &
light to shadow places.
level headed like
a picture properly held.
solid enough to build
houses but still a kind
of breeze between trees.
Since February 2017 I’ve been writing a new poem every single day. Recently I’ve been thinking about when & how my poem-a-day project should end & I think two years is a nice symmetrical number. 730 total poems. Today is the day. Poem-a-day is done!
The project initially began because, after I finished my MFA, I felt like I wasn’t being creative enough in my daily life, & my creative muscles were shrinking. The poems became little warm up exercises for my poet brain, just to get the juices flowing. As an avid journal keeper I’m used to processing life events through words, but the poems also gave me space to examine the things that happened to me over the past two years. Really they gave me space to think & chew on ideas.
I like to joke that 99% of the daily poems are terrible. They were more about the process of doing & practice than being any “good”. But I do still have my favourites. The poem-a-day tumblr will stay up at poemadaydoctoraway.tumblr.com if you feel inclined to explore it. I’ll continue writing poetry of course, & have reserved a highlighted instagram story for new compositions, @natalie_raymond. Below are some of my fave pieces from the project.
the fire burns against the water
the fire burns against the sea.
I wake in hills surrounded by kindling
I wake in california breeze.