12.2 Contributor Notes

by Kyle Anderson

Faith is an unspoken truth in our daily lives. It is based both on our past experiences and the societal contract we believe we’ve all agreed to. When we’re drinking coffee in the morning, we have faith that it will help us begin the day. When we’re driving to work, we have faith that the roads will be flat and even, that there won’t be gigantic sinkholes swallowing the traffic before us. When we’re speaking to a friend, to a stranger, we have faith that our words will carry their intended meaning as they travel from mouth to ears. The same is true for poetry. With a poem, faith is a hidden constellation, beginning with the still-mysterious act of writing. The blank page, which is simultaneously white and dark, is the abyss each writer stares into until the moment, as Nietzsche said, where the abyss stares back into the writer. That’s when the miracle begins—something, somewhere, without origin or premonition, begins seeping out of us, like a stream that suddenly trickles out of the earth, taking shape right before our eyes. As these ideas from elsewhere become ours and start to align themselves, there is a faith that they are meant to be shared with the world, and there is a faith that their meaning will make sense to another person, that the words might move some feeling in their body, even if it’s only a quiver, a shortened breath, a brief spark inside the ribs. On the other side, the reader believes the author has some purpose driving their work, some intended meaning or message, some symbolic scent their mind’s nose can catch hold of. This dance of faith is what makes not only poetry so complex and beautiful, but the act of human communication at large. It is strange, messy, and always surprising. It is why I write, why I read, and why I hope you enjoy what I’ve made for you.

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