I write for two reasons: to assuage loneliness and to share my only real gift. 

First, writing comforts my loneliness because my head has always been full of strange words, images, connections and terrible empathies: like my mother’s wiping down the kitchen counter before going to bed reminding me of our dog circling and scratching in the dirt before he laid down to sleep, or my “slow” aunt’s heartbreaking vulnerability because she couldn’t tell time (back when there were only clocks and watches with hands). When I learned to put these on paper and show them to others, I discovered I was not totally alone—there were and are others out there like me. Second,  although I was a fair athlete when young, and can still enjoy swimming, biking and walking, and although I’ve learned to crochet pretty well, writing is the only thing I’m really good at. Being able to write clear prose has helped me as an attorney, but poetry uses my real gift of putting words together in a way that is, hopefully, unique. I believe God gives each of us a talent, and we are to share that with the world. My son can draw impromptu pencil sketches that knock your socks off—I can barely draw stick figures. My husband creates beautiful shelves and stairs—I can hardly hammer a nail in straight. But I can write, and I can share that gift through publication and oral readings.

I try to make my poetry both intelligent and accessible. I dislike the old image of droning intellectual poetry in college parlors with polite approvals and tea as much as I dislike slam poetry screamed in bars over the heads of drunks. I want people who read my poetry to both understand it and feel they have learned something new about the world, or at least something they already know expressed in a new way. It’s a hard tightrope to walk, but I keep trying.

Carol Gloor is a semi-retired attorney, writing for forty years, mostly poetry.  Her work has appeared in many print and online journals and anthologies, most recently in the magazine Christian Century, print journals Freshwater and Sow’s Ear, the anthology A Bird in the Hand: Risk and Flight, and here in Stymie.  She is a member of the Chicago poetry collective Egg Money Poets.