Mission Statement — A Poem


Mission Statement

i write poems like

grade eight science fair projects
done the night before
words scotchtaped
to blank white bristol board

unsent wedding invitations
in unsealed envelopes
resting on a kitchen table
for weeks on end

mass-produced ransom letters
cut piecemeal from library books
and takeout menus
stapled to telephone poles

i write poems like
it’s my day job like
it’s slowly going out of style like
it’s the only thing i ever wanted to do


This piece has a lot in common with some metapoems I shared previously, especially “The Sense of It.” Y’know, just in case you’re looking to read more like this, do a little compare-and-contrast, that sort of thing.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my approach to writing and poetry in particular. When I sit down to write something, what is my motivation? What is my process? What is my end goal?

That last question is always the hardest one. I generally find poetry to be very rewarding, but there are definitely days when I don’t feel like writing. On those days, I catch myself wondering if it’ll ever lead to anything, if I should press onward, or if I’m even good at it.

Sometimes I don’t do any writing for days on end. But then, soon enough, an idea strikes me, and I start tapping away on my keyboard or scribbling something down on a piece of paper.

In the end, I write because I want to. Because it interests me. I don’t need any end goal beyond the act of writing itself. That isn’t to say that I don’t have any end goals — I would love to be able to make a living off my writing someday, for one thing — but they aren’t strictly necessary.

It’s incredibly liberating to realize that.

Author: Mitchell

I'm 22 and currently pursuing my MA in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto.

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