In honor of my Opa on his birthday, I thought I’d risk what we are warned about in medical school (we are told regularly that everything we do or say reflects upon us as future physicians) and start a blog. Last year, while in cadaver lab, I was tempted to do this—to document each week’s dissection, because it was worlds more beautiful than I had ever imagined. I was warned by fellow writer friends that there are too many blogs, that it becomes tiring, insert another common theme here. As someone who appears confessional, even when writing fictional poetry, I realize this could get interesting quick. But if my Dutch grandfather could withhold his radio during the War and support the Resistance, I think I can start this small task now.
Today, I awoke to a message from a pretty well-known and well-respected poet. I had essentially cold-called her for a blurb for the upcoming book. As a poet who has only studied briefly with Ilya Kaminsky and Deborah Digges (no longer living), this has been a real learning experience—how to approach professional writers for support on your work when they already have so much in their own lives to focus on. They are parents, professors, physicians, spouses, research center developers, on top of producing volumes of novels, creative nonfiction, poetry books, so I guess I should be pleased that it took me this long to finally write something that may have hit an uncomfortable chord with another poet. I called her a slam poet. Apparently, she doesn’t consider herself this anymore. And even though I have seen her work appear in journals, sometimes alongside mine under the category of slam, and even though I do admire her, it showed ignorance. And maybe I did it because I have slam on my mind, the Grand Slam approaching at Town Hall on April 19, 2014, or maybe I was just carelessly applying a term where none was needed, or maybe I didn’t do enough research.
Going forward, I vow to do more homework. And if I ever have the honor of being approached to write a blurb in the way, way future for someone in a similar position to me—in medical school sans MFA—I will seriously consider it.
Natasha Kochicheril Moni is a writer and a licensed naturopath in WA State. Enjoying this blog? Feel free to put a little coffee in Natasha's cup, right here.