This is me, visually. I’m a twenty-something accidental hipster who isn’t hipster at all but just genuinely unfashionable and in tune with odd details amongst the moments of our day-to-day existence. I’m married to my Fair Ginger Lover, the living proof of the strength of the human spirit, my best friend and quite literal Prince Charming. That might not seem to have much of an impact on who I am as a writer, but I feel that my love affair is a major element in who I am as a person as well as a poet. I like books, especially old ones; songs, especially good ones, and foods, especially sweet ones. I’m an optimistic poet of pessimistic poems and I can’t dance for sh!t. I’m still crawling towards a degree in Business after nearly ten years past high school graduation – and only two quarters away! – but at this point, my goal is to be a College Graduate and if that’s all I ever end up to be, I’ll be okay; I’ve lived a thousand lives in a fraction of the time and happily ever after is what you make of it.
Roy M. Goodman said, “Happiness is a means of travel, not a destination.” That’s who I aim to be: a person who accepts, embraces and radiates that exact sentiment. https://saturdayeveningpoet.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/what-i-want-to-be-when-i-grow-up/
Writing, especially poetry, with its broken words and different meanings, the way it is so pliable and moldable, is wonderful catharsis. It is a true balm for the soul when the verbal version of events would only make matters worse. It’s the purging of negativity, the expression of joy, the sharing of wisdom and of grief, a way of connecting with others, with something, with the Universe, perhaps – it is a way to make my mark. It is a way to be expressed, to be heard, to be acknowledged, to be affirmed. It is the wings I seek when I wish to travel, it is the ground beneath my feet, enticing me to stay. It is a way to live in ways I otherwise could not.
I write because I love and have loved, been loved, lost, felt lost, danced, fallen, risen, cried, laughed, birthed, died and there are a thousand more things I can feel and imagine before my life resets – I’m not done after this life; I know this – Nirvana is a long way away. I’ve come a long way, though, and I can feel it closer every day. Until then, this gets me by and perhaps one day, in this lifetime or another, it will bloom into something as beautiful for others as it is for me.
Some families are quilted together tightly, like a strong, heavy quilt to keep you warm on the coldest of nights. My family is more… of a crocheted afghan. There’s a lot of holes and if you stop and focus on all the holes, you find yourself out in the cold quite often. But we’re still knitted together, we don’t quite match but that’s okay – there’s a comfort in the kitsch. It was knitted with love and it’s lasted forever. I come from that. I come from thinkers, dreamers, drinkers and fighters. I come from true love, and from hopeless regret. That’s where my words come from.
I write about my childhood. I write about my heroes, my disappointments. I write about the way his hair blows in the cold wind. I write about my fair ginger lover, and if you’re not okay with reading a lot of deep sentiment, you’re probably not okay with what you’re going to get from me. I don’t write to be filthy and I don’t write to be vengeful. I write to cry it out. I write to ask for help, I write to implore and to challenge. I hope to make you think, maybe reconsider. I hope to clarify, to confess. I write in the hopes that you, or someone like you, reads this and feels what I feel when I read something that makes me stop and say, “THIS.”
That’s me, in as short a flowery version as I could muster. My name is Shannon Benjamin, and I’m a poet-head.