the other side of truth

the truth isn’t always something we can grasp.
not because it isn’t real but because
sometimes the truth has thorns that will
journey through your defences. the truth
can in fact call forth blood.

the truth isn’t always kind or fair or soft
but we ask for it
we demand for it
as if it is meant to bring us warmth
as if it is supposed to bring us comfort
sometimes the truth is that lump in your throat
that song on the radio
that hand around your neck
sometimes the truth arrives and we cannot stomach it
because it’s nothing like we have imagined.

sometimes the truth breaks us
into pieces. Sometimes,
it doesn’t set us free.

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15 lessons from my creative writing class

1. The moment you have readers, your writing will improve.
2. Read your work out loud.
3. Do not over modify.
4. In poetry, lines are a unit of action i.e. individual lines matter.
5. Don’t preach. Don’t explain.
6. Don’t settle for knocking on the door, go in.
7. Trust your readers to figure it out. Give them action and detail.
8. You go further- don’t settle for the easy or the obvious.
9. You must be willing to take risks.
10. Something has to be at stake when you write.
11. Know what your impulse (purpose) is and let everything you write come back to that impulse.
12. Don’t take criticism personally. If people do not respond to your work the way you want them to, it’s okay.
13. You have the biggest say as to what you work is or should be.
14. Do not underestimate the power of good editing.
15. Enjoy your writing- the process, the failures, the successes.