My first published poem, “Is it because I don’t know how to be alone,” is available now from Almost Five Quarterly. This is the story behind the poem.
My previous apprenticeship in poetry ended with the last of my lovesick college days. After that, I didn’t think myself capable of writing the stuff. So last January, when I started typing what would become “Is it because I don’t know how to be alone,” I thought I was writing flash fiction. The first draft was a long paragraph that I sent to my husband. I said it was a story about a person who discovers she can’t connect with others in the way that she would like. My husband sent the paragraph back to me with line breaks. I think this should be a poem, he said.
“Is it because…” (the title was originally the last line) was written out of the frustration I was feeling at the time—with myself, with my life, with the non-fulfillment of the internet. My feelings were nothing new, not even to me. But that winter I felt lonely and bored with an intensity that frightened me. So I wrote about it. And writing about it became this poem, my first in over seven years.