Confession, Confessional Poetry, Memoir Poem, Mental Health, Poetry

Colleen Whose Name Means Girl

Maybe I should be out
Loud about it. Maybe I
Should talk. I know it
Sure would have helped me
A lot if the woman they
Kept in a box under the
Bed for seven years had
Been a little more chatty.

“These things do happen. They
Do.” We would commiserate
With each other through the
Knothole in her box and the
Keyhole in the door I was
Locked and chained behind

Also for seven years.

Lucky lucky.

“Colleen,” I would whisper so
The bad men wouldn’t hear.

Colleen whose name means
Girl

“Colleen,” I would whisper
“I get you Sister.
I do.”

-M. Ashley

If you are a survivor of sex trafficking, I cannot recommend the organization Journey Out enough. They have helped me tremendously and I am grateful every day that I found them.

Career, Confession, Writing Life

Academic Egress: A Confession

A1IMG_05231I want to be a poet and in general a writer of things, but I don’t want to be in academia.

This is my confession:

I don’t want any part of academia. It seems like becoming a nun, cloistered unto myself and married to analysis and rancor over other people’s work. It doesn’t seem like it gives one the opportunity to gush and flow and live and move. I know it does for some people, but not for me.

I want to be Indiana Jones of the writerly wilds, dammit. I want to be out in the world experiencing and tasting and taking in air and breathing life deep into my lungs. I don’t believe this involves necessarily getting back to nature or primal man or whatever Thoreau was blathering about. I do believe it means getting back to the world in all her splendors, realizing that the human, the created, and the creators are as much a part of nature as birds and trees and famous ponds.

It is scary admitting outright that I don’t want to be a part of academia because how else is a writer supposed to make her living? The world knows that this is what poets and creative writers, (who don’t write pop fiction) do with themselves. This is the only thing they do with themselves. This is how they survive—this insular world of poets breeding poets.

I’m too hard on academics and I don’t mean to be. There are plenty, (I think of my teachers for example), who love what they do and the community in which they do it. Teachers are incredibly important. I wouldn’t be anything without the marvelous ones I have had. I acknowledge all of this and I praise them from my bones. I also acknowledge that although I do wish to teach, being solidly and solely a part of academia is not what I want at all.

I will find another way.

-M.