Why I Write
I suppose I write like many of you (who read, and readers are the best writers I think) for so many reasons, some of which are pretty obscure and some pretty self evident. I write because it matters for me to write and in doing so I might hit on something I never really crossed before, something that uniquely involves me and brings me somewhere new. Like now, I’m writing and I don’t know what I am going to say, just working on what I already have put down and trusting that will bring me towards something more substantial than I planned on. I could say for me it’s a lot like dancing, I hear some music and I want to move to it, but not in a structured way to show off I can do this dance or that dance, but to simply dance without any fear. If I could write that way I’d really impress myself. But I am getting off the target or getting to some piece of it too quickly. Maybe too that’s all I need to say, but let me get more bold or at the very least just more boringly introspective.
I write because I have always written something down. I have a fetish perhaps for the word. I’ve always been a note taker and I read the same way; slowly taking notes in my mind’s recorder as it were of what I read, instead of just pushing forward in a rush, therein not reading very much I would add. I started years ago to write: lists of things, but then stopped because I couldn’t possibly do a fraction of what I fantasized I was going to accomplish. Later, I wrote about my dreams, I wrote about my disappointments, I wrote about my short comings and goings. And the more I wrote about myself, the more I felt comfortable in my skin even if to the outside world I still looked as nerdy and unaccomplished as ever or more so. No matter, I kept writing useless information about all kinds of ideas and sometimes stories or pieces of, until I hit on poetry, and it, really opened up my thinking and emotive faculties.
I think I just hit on something I wanted to say all along, that through poetic writing I kind of stumbled on it; my voice. I write to return back to my childhood, and all it’s excitement and novelty; and it was and is for me a time and place of wonder and uncertainty as well. My poems on the sea, of which I have several in that theme, have been about my crossing the Great North Atlantic Ocean at age 5 and 7, and what I still take from that experience. I write about myself as an adult and the musings and experiences I have had and appreciate by writing it out. I’ve written countless poems on that one subject. I write to grow, about spiritual things, not in a traditional sense, but elements that are spiritual in my life that show themselves to me through contemplation and writing. I write to evoke memory, and through memory story, not always my own, but also of others who I have crossed and will cross my life again. I poem I surprised myself writing called, Lies Quietly Now, is about my mother, first coming to this country and then followed by her siblings and parents from Italy, after the last not so great war, and the house of stone by tall grass left behind that haunts her still. I write because she taught me to write through her stories of her life
I write most of all to explore the language I learnt here as a child that I was never too comfortable with learning: like some landscape to go out there as far as you can go before turning back. In the great divide of English I go exploring with my pen and paper all the little creeks and rivers, hills and nooks that make my mind and heart feel like I was just starting out to see the world. I write to get up there on that plateau and see below. An astonishing view I might have otherwise have missed.
written by Frank Esposito
March 24, 2014