BY: Allie Gravitt
I never thought of myself as a poet.
That’s a funny thing to say, I guess, because I wrote songs before I wrote anything else. What are lyrics if not poetry? It seemed like a silly label. I wrote. I was a writer. That was it.
As I’ve gone through the process of assembling my first collection, then illustrating and releasing it, I’ve had a lot of internal conversations. Am I a poet now? What do I even do with that? Nobody even reads poetry, do they? And who am I actually going to reach with something as personal and specific as this?
For a long time I didn’t even consider reaching anybody with this. There were words I’d dumped into my journal. Verses I tapped out into the notes app in my iPhone, or vomited onto a keyboard as the ideas escaped my head and my heart. The words were raw, organic expressions – emotions that were clawing their way through my brain and emerging in verse.
At some point, I realized that in itself was something special. Poetry as a medium is unique in that you have the ability to capture unfettered emotion. There are no characters or plotlines. Nothing but an attempt to pour your soul onto paper. Inviting other people into that is hard. Really hard. But it can also forge powerful connections. I am not the first person to feel the things I’ve felt, and I will not be the last. Maybe someone else can benefit from seeing their emotions expressed and validated in black and white.
I felt strongly about capturing moments as they existed. There is a tendency among some writers (and by some writers, I mean me. I’m talking about me.) to temper the reality of a situation – to tie up experiences with a neat little bow and move on, as if that experience is over and done and no longer impacting your world. But sometimes there isn’t a resolution. What if the hurt or joy or tension reverberates through you for days or weeks or months? Should we put a bow on that?
There is beauty in honoring both the impact and the aftershocks. There is beauty in capturing experiences as they were and allowing them to exist. I spent a lot of time wondering if this work was uplifting enough. If my experiences were too specific to appeal to most people. If I was too feminine or too gritty or too… too… too.
But then I realized that I didn’t care. If my goal was to share experience, to help people identify whatever prison they may be in, then honesty was the most important part. It was crucial to the success of the project. If one person is able to embrace these words as their own and put verse to their pain or their growth or their frustration or their joy then this project is a success.
So this is prisonbreaks. It is my fumbling, gritty attempt at capturing the rollercoaster of being a human during this time. It is intentionally raw. It is both complicated and simple. It is pain and it is release. It is my attempt at emancipation. My own little prisonbreak.
What is it that you’re bound by today?
Allie Gravitt is based in Marietta, Georgia and spends her days mostly in her head, trying to keep a lot of little humans and animals alive. When she has time to breathe she really likes to travel and play music.
She doesn’t know how to write about anything that isn’t true.
More on Allie Gravitt:
Purchase Allie’s debut poetry book here.
Follow Allie’s Journey on Instagram by clicking here.
Check out Allie’s website for more of her content here.
Read Our Galaxy’s full review of Allie’s book here.