I know I said months ago that I would begin a full poetry collection dedicated to that constant companion of humankind – the dog, but my creative juices have found themselves flowing in another direction.
As some of you may know I have played rugby for a few years now. The sport as a whole is an empowering, frustrating, complicated, irritating package of an experience that flushes fascinating aspects of humanity to the surface in ways that many people would never expect. This also makes writing about rugby very easy.
(Sorry dogs – you have more than enough humans dedicating poems to you. Maybe next time!)
My current goal is to create a collection which illuminates the experience of the female rugby player. While the sport is empowering to women and many local men’s teams truly support their female counterparts, the undertow of sexism can be still be felt at times, its insidious hooks pulling back on progress.
These past few months I have had the incredible experience of playing full contact rugby with not only the women of the Corpus Christi Clams, but our brother team, the Crabs. This unity and collaboration of the sexes, coached by a very talented woman, inspired me beyond measure. The drive, the compassion exuded from so many of the players provided more than enough creative material but even in this magical microcosm there were still plenty of gray areas filled with muddled human interaction to explore poetically.
This project seems to have taken on a life of its own. I’ve already written ten poems and have begun pushing myself in terms of form. I’ve caught myself going the extra mile during my research to ensure that I can capture the magnificence and aggravation that come with this beautiful sport and over the top lifestyle.
Rugby has done so much for me not only in terms of improving self confidence but it has also pushed me to become a better, more active member of my community. And so, I hope that these poems will not only inspire others to try this sport but also act as some small gift to all the women and men who have helped me find my way during this beautiful game.
For now I will rescind into my pens and paper to write, edit, scrap and write again, but I am excited for this writing journey, however long it may be.