True quote of the day…

“The cliche is dead poetry.”

–Gerald Brenan

And there’s nothing sadder than dead poetry. Poetry should live and breathe and move of its own accord, dance and run through the minds of readers. Dead poetry does nothing.

One of my biggest artistic fears is being cliche. To be cliche is to be unaware of the complexity of the situation, of the concept, of the form. Cliches reduce massive ideas and struggles to something neat and tidy, packaged with a red ribbon bow. In doing so, the massiveness – that which makes something powerful – is invalidated.

In some sense, people want cliches. We want to be told everything will be okay. We want the three step process: lose 20 pounds, find the man of your dreams, plan meals for the week, organize your garage, get your dream job — all in three easy steps! And it’s easy to write that way, with the to-do list at the end that makes everything better. I like to wrap things up nicely – it’s less messy. But it’s not true.

When we read those articles, they ring false, and sometimes, if the solution is too simplistic for our problem, we end up feeling empty. I never want someone to feel empty after reading what I’ve written. I want them to feel full


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