They said art was misery
so I sought it —

but it’s not like you think,
not rejection

of comfort, self-

it was accepting
who I am

is the person I will live with
for the rest of this path,

which I’d prefer end
some place I imagine.


This poem appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered on April 7, 2019, as selected by Richard Blanco, who was President Obama’s Second Inauguration poet. Listen to / read the segment’s transcript here.
As NPR’s Emma Bowman notes in a separate article:

The poem, Blanco said, cuts through the stereotype that poetry is an act of the self-absorbed.

“What people don’t often understand about poetry, I think, is that it’s also a way of objectifying your life and realizing that the poem is an act of imagination,” he said. “And the idea that you develop an artistic persona that becomes some other version of yourself in the poem.”