I typically write poems–a genre defined by its condensed form and usually short length. And I typically write them in a room alone, either at my desk or in a recliner, a warm cat or two at my feet. My room overlooks the street, a relatively quiet, tree-lined street, the ever-present stream of cars on the nearby artery roads a constant presence in the background. For years this has worked for me. I read, I write, I publish the small pieces of art that come into being.
But lately I have a lot on my mind and a lot more to say. The thing is, not all material works best in a poetic form. Sometimes writing needs space to breathe, to expand, to yawp, howl, or to as poet William Stafford writes: “spin out on the page.” And sometimes, as when the writing is focused on current events, it needs an immediate audience.
Seemingly more and more, my imaginative mind that used to thrive in solitude is suffocating under the weight of the current political state. Like the stream of cars in the background of my home, the tumultous state of American affairs, this presidency, the erosion of truth, climate change, the rise of American isolationism, nationalism, and the general disregard of kindness. Only unlike the traffic which can sometimes disappear into the like sound of ocean waves, the political noise is amplified and demanding. I cannot ignore it. We should not ignore it.
My intention in creating The Scratching Post is to open a space where I can share ideas about the world as it appears and appeals (or does not) to me in real time. Not only to respond to current events, but to share other ideas, as well. A space where I can, perhaps, lay groundwork to future poems, essays, and articles while hopefully sharing insights, facts, and ideas. As someone with a variety of interests, it is my hope that you will find something here that appeals and speaks to you. And that after I give voice to these other areas of interest and concern, I can quiet my mind enough to imagine.
Michelle Bonczek Evory is a writer and photogapher currently based out of Michigan. She is the author of The Ghosts of Lost Animals, winner of the 2018 Barry Spacks Poetry Prize ( Gunpowder P, 2019), Naming the Unnamable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations (Open SUNY Textbook P, 2018). She teaches at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and mentors poets at The Poet’s Billow. For more information about Michelle, her books, and background, please check out The Poet’s Billow web site.