Stephen King does this all the time. I do it with my characters. So, I’m doing it with myself right now.
Michael: So, Michael. DarkCat. Skillzilla? What do you go by these days?
Answering Michael: Mostly Michael. Most people just call me Skillz because of Sandy.
Michael (M): I see. What are you doing now.
Answering Michael (AM): Watching The Good Doctor with Sandy. Plotting out a few poems I have to write for class.
M: What are the poems about?
AM: I’ve got an assignment coming up that asks me to write a poem about a historical event from three different perspectives. I chose Trump’s election: POV of a white moderate, a black person, and America. I’ve also got an idea of a series of poems written based on “The Talk” series. Things a black parent would tell their children. I’m trying to build a portfolio, but more than that, I’m discovering myself as I write. Finding out more about me. Wading through this world of whiteness in which I live.
M: It’s been exactly a year since your first open-mic experience. How do you feel about yourself now, about your poetry and writing?
AM: I’ve still got imposter syndrome going on. It’s hard for me to accept complements. It’s always been hard. I’ve learned to trust the people I surround myself with over my own opinions. So, in that way, I feel better. I’ve got a really solid group of writing friends who are supportive and offer great feedback. My wife will always call me on bullshit. It’s getting to the point where I can’t deny that I’ve got something going on, but that feels
Last year, I’d written about 4 poems. I’m up to around 15 now, with several that I’m really comfortable performing. Poetry is coming easier to me now, the ideas for them. I’m getting to a point where I want to memorize and start playing with different forms of poetry. I want to write all of the poetry.
AM: Where are you on your prose writing?
M: Tons of ideas. Using my notebook more to jot down ideas, but I haven’t written much prose lately. I want to, but right now, I’m doing the poet thing.
AM: How do you feel about that?
M: I don’t feel any way, I guess. Right now, I’m exploring poetry. Sometime soon, I’ll write prose. What’s important to me is that I’m writing.
AM: Reading anything?
M: June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Langston Hughes, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Black Power, pretty much. Lots of James Baldwin. Reading an amazing book by Ibram X. Kendi titled “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” It’s what the title says, an extensive study on racist thoughts in America.
AM: Sounds interesting. Sounds intense. You write a bunch of serious stuff. You’re working through your own emotional drama and traumas. How are you relaxing?
M: I think I mentioned I’m watching The Good Doctor with my wife?
AM: You did. What else?
M: Lots of that. Lots of relaxing at the end of the day with Sandy. Reading comic books, working through Chris Priest’s Black Panther run now. Thinking of doing a type of “Read Through” on the blog. Playing games. Trying to learn Dragonball FighterZ. Starting to go to the gym a lot more. Trying not to get diabeetus again.
AM: Oh, right, that happened? How are you feeling?
M: Better than I have in a long time. It was rough the first couple of months, but I’ve got a handle on it now. Weight down, blood sugar is great, and building good lifestyle habits. The new goal is to be super swole and wearing this thing for Black Panther 2’s premier:
AM: That’d be pretty dope.
M: Wakanda forever.
AM: You don’t think this is weird?
AM: Talking to yourself like this?
AM: Well, it was good talking to you.
M: You, too. We’ll do this again.
AM: If you say so.
M: I do.