April 6, 2023_A Day in the Life of a Poet
by Liz Teuber
I’m awoken in the early morning hours by a profound thought and the need to pee. The thought quickly translates to a line of poetry, so graceful and poignant there’s no way I could forget it. So, I visit the toilet first. By the time I return to bed, internally debating the efficacy of jotting a note in my phone, scrawling illegibly freehand in the dark, or simply closing my eyes, it occurs to me I’ve already forgotten the line.
And yet, it is in those brief moments where something is revealed that I find poetry. It’s not just the words; it’s something felt. It’s the way the words convey a sensation, the way the words dance upon my lips and send a shiver across my skin.
We all live bifurcated lives—caught between modern society’s demands while driven by our primal evolutionary needs. I don’t believe one is necessarily superior to the other, but to be safe, I tend a herd of sheep, keep a garden and raise chickens for eggs and meat.
Poetry helps me sort out the cognitive dissonance between the life I live and a life that might feel more authentic. The words that speak to me—the words that I’m consumed by—are the words that either tell me my ship is pointed in the right direction or reveal a previously unnoticed but significant hole in the bow.
I can write it either way: find the bilge pump, bail the water, and plug the sucker, or watch the water rise inch-by-inch, let the ship capsize, and get sucked into the whirlpool. As dark as those depths may be, poetry helps me realize that whether I’m skimming across the ocean’s glassy surface or being swallowed by its angry maw, it’s all just water. Everything else is perspective.