The more I read the more I realize that I have many miles to go as a writer and as a poet. I’ve said it before, but poetry is so much like baseball it’s uncanny. Baseball is a head game. You can get in the hall of fame for having a 70% failure rate. My favorite baseball player was Tony Gwynn, an outfielder for the San Diego Padres, one of the few baseball players to have a career batting average over .300. Gwynn was consistent as a hitter and humble as a stud baseball player. Somehow, he never managed to get in his own head (at least for too long anyways).
I’ve gotten in my own head. In being intentional about writing 2-3 poems a week, I’ve lost sight of something so important to poetry: openness. An open poem is one that ends, well, openly rather than closing off and forcing a conclusion onto the reader. A closed poem is the result of a poet trying too hard to force his/her conclusions into the poem, rather than allowing the poem to breath and exist on its own. A strong poem can and will exist on its own, in the mind of the writer, and in the mind of the reader. I’m finding that I’m trying to force my poems, trying too hard to be poetic. I won’t hit a five-run home run with every poem. Some are simply destined to be pop flies and strikeouts, especially when they are closed down. Open them up, Jacobson, and relax. Here’s to worrying less about the long ball and more about making each poem open, and as strong as it can be.