I wrote this preface over and over because I had writer’s block. My past and my promises were looking over my shoulder influencing every step of the conception of D.A.Z.E. As an introvert, I knew no external force could hamper my ability to produce this collection of rhyming semantics but yet there were so many obstacles. I identified my confusion, worries, and the frantic feeling and from there I refused to let anything stop me from publishing my poetry. The pressure I put on myself to be perfect was gigantic. I chased all my other dreams and caught them with a breath of exhaustion yet I remained empty because I still was unpublished.
My goal of publishing a book started back when I began to communicate my thoughts onto paper. I didn’t realize in elementary school my brain was working out what it could not yet understand. Around the same time, I became a Hip-Hop fan. Rhythm was introduced into the equation and then came rhyming so I tried to mimic what I heard with my own ideas. Inspired by the lyrics and the instrumentals of Hip- Hop I found myself writing poems. I printed out Nas’ lyrics and taped them to my wall. I use to rewind Jay-Z over and over until I memorized each line. I listened closely to DMX, Tupac, Eminem, and the Notorious B.I.G. Little did I know their use of alliteration, hyperbole, imagery, metaphors, tone, theme, and similes would be stamped into my mind. It became a foundation for my identity. Their use of the poetic techniques painted pictures in my mind. The images became so vivid I began to see the world through a different lens.
For a long time, I kept everything I wrote to myself because it was for me. As I read each line I began to understand myself and it provided an intrinsic feeling of achievement. I told a few girls in middle school and they encouraged me to continue to express my feeling through words. In high school, my teachers told me I was good at writing. My mom found some of the work and created a High School memento. I didn’t like it, but it made me realize I should share what I’ve written with other people. The idea of creating a poetry book came into my mind, but still nothing transpired.
In college, I minored in English so my horizons were expanded to T.S. Elliot, Emily Dickerson, Walter Whitman, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen. I was introduced to the technical terms and forms of poetry. I stuck to writing free verse poetry in my spare time because that allowed me to express myself more creatively than the restrictions associated with Shakespearean sonnets and other traditional forms of poetry. After studying the great poets of all time my understanding of poetry grew and I began to elaborate on the issues I saw around me and the issues I had within. Slowly I started to see how I could publish a book, but the idea was so far off in the distance I didn’t take it seriously.
After I graduated college I recognized I had both parents, a huge loving extended family, and plenty of friends, but no one was there for me like music, my pencil, and my notebook. Reading through all the poetry I had created I saw I wrote about everything and everyone. Finally, I decided to craft my poetry into a book with the main focus being on my identity. Although my writing was always too close to me to let my pieces go out in the world, I decided after years and years of writing to finally show everyone my life has always rhymed.
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