The thread of thematic focus running throughout my collection of work is a sense of dependence on another person and the destruction of that dependence over the course of romantic relationships. In that way, my work is very personal and is not shy about being so. Rather than concentrating solely on an internal reflection of emotion regarding this sense of dependence, I prefer to combine internalized reflection with an exploration of the physical manifestations of dependence, how moments of a relationship play out in a literal sense, and what other sorts of dependence are echoing the inter-personal dependence that runs throughout. Some of my prevailing concentrations in exploring physical manifestations of dependence include the roles of mood-altering substances and physical contact and how those further or alter the involved depth of emotion. Because of this concentration on specific emotional depth, most of the perspectives in my poetry are my own, even if the perspectives become imposed onto a different speaker, as can be seen in “Dasypodidae Fide” or “Tylor’s Animism.” Each set of poetry incorporated here is meant to be read and examined as a related set, as each concentrates of the progression of a specific relationship. My memoiristic piece, “How We Are Small,” also dissects these same themes of dependence and its stages within a specific relationship, and supplements several ideas repeated across both sets of poetry.
Outer-referential influence made its way into both Affections of Substance and Nature of Relations as a way to apply a what felt to me to be a more justified and fleshed out sort of third-party logical theory into the personalized emotions I was intending to capture within each set of poetry. The strongest of these allusions are rooted in anthropological theory and the defining concepts of each theory. “Tylor’s Animism” and both “Plato’s Forbidden Art” poems exemplify these ideas. While anthropological ideas are traditionally meant to assert ideas about societies or larger groups, I could not separate my musings from the introduction and reflection upon certain concepts. For example, “Plato’s Forbidden Art” refers specifically to poetry, but not to poetry as it is found on the page, rather poetry as it is audibly performed. In reading and discussing this idea, I could not let go of the direct correlation between how Plato felt spoken rhetoric could be damaging to how I have seen and felt the spoken word inflict emotional damage. The knowledge and emotional overlap seemed too relevant to pass up without expression and inclusion in my art.
Poetry is my preferred style, as it does not always require a sense of professional certainty about its presented ideas in the way that non-fiction prose does. For me, poetry is a reflection of a thought process more often than it is an articulation of a thought or chain of ideas. I find that poetry is most available way for me to express thoughts to a page. Once they are there and out of mental space in some capacity, I can then begin to mull the ideas or responses over in a way that makes more logical sense, and can then string them together in a way that makes sense on a more prosaic page. It is almost as if I need poetry and its liberties to pinpoint my heaviest concentrations and complicated emotions before I can move forward with delving deeper inside of them. I hope then, that it is evident that my poetry and prose share a sort of internalized hazy quality, but that it is clear there is a driving emotional connection within each piece that connects somehow to each of the others.