neither. writing was the first thing i remember being told i was good at. i loved reading but didnt have the discipline to write a novel. i started with fragments of stories. they became poems out of the fascination with lyricism and my elementry introduction to other poets began to create a context for what i was doing. eventually, the therapy of it all gave me drive to be persistent about it. when i started sharing them and performing them, the need to read them aloud and the appreciation of hearing them, made me believe it was something worth doing. having an audience was accidental. i know what other poets have been able to change in my perspective about the world. when i began to recognize that i was doing the same for other poets coming up under, i recognized the role of influence and responsibility of that influence regardless of how clumsy we find ourselves. i wanted to be better and it motivated me to search out a literary movement of writers. especially once i entered academia.
but as a child, before langston, there was biggie and tupac and sade and marvin gaye and bob marley…. it was whatever my mother played often. perhaps this is why i am so very dramatic. you try raising your child on tupac and sade. see who they become.
the world was a very serious playful place as a child, poetry gave me the ability to articulate how magical i engaged with the world. intently and emotionally.