Karissa R. Whitson is a nineteen-year-old girl with two cats and a truck. She’s been writing since she could hold a pencil and usually doesn’t speak to many more people than necessary. She’s pretty regular, but can be considered quite astounding, depending on who you ask.
I picked a few of the questions but I also wrote a small bit about myself and why I felt compelled to write what I did and submit it to SMITTEN.
Poetry, to me, has always been about expression, whether it’s understandable to all who read it or not. It’s about getting what you feel onto paper, whether it rhymes, follows a form, or is just text that flows as a poem to you, it’s all about the emotion behind the words. Connecting this with my orientation is a very big deal for me. I come from a small town that’s full of very sheltered, small minded people, so getting out what I felt and what I thought was never something I felt I could out loud. I turned to writing poetry because it was so much easier to make the words flow on a page than to ever say them. With myself, a pen, and paper, I could be more honest than I ever knew possible. Connecting my poetry with who I am and how I identify is a very huge part of who I am today and how I see myself now.
Love and erotic are often kept pretty far apart when it comes to writing and I think love is so much of a heavier topic because you feel it deeper. Erotica is physical, immediate gratification. Love is deep, spiritual, mental, emotional, long lasting, and seems to scar a person in a beautiful way. Writing about love is so much harder than writing erotica. Writing about love forces a person to dig as deep into them self as they can and come out with the most pure emotion possible.
I’ve written a lot of poetry through out my life but the few I chose to submit to SMITTEN were those that spoke to me even as I wrote them. My process for writing is a lot of free writing and usually ends up sounding like nonsense. Although, every once in a while I reread my own pieces and I feel something in me that makes me want to share the work. It makes me want to put it out there for other people to feel. The poems I submitted are pieces I was hoping could be connected with, felt, understood, even if not heard the same way I hear them, for them to touch someone would be more than enough.
I came out when I was ten years old. Seems really young, I know. I was faced with three reactions. 1, I was looked down on by those who believed I was doing wrong, I was an abomination, and a sinner. 2, They scoffed and told me I was too young to know and shouldn’t say such silly things. 3, Nothing at all was said because I no longer deserved their words, as they thought. It took some adjustment with my family but my parents were the first to tell me they loved me no matter who I felt drawn to in life.
I started writing poetry around this time, finding it difficult to really connect with people and speak to them about these things. Even at ten years old I knew the seperation I had put between myself and everyone around me. I took to writing, and it was the most freeing experience ever. Even through the next few years of school, before I became home schooled, the bullying, the segregation, the loneliness I felt. My writing was always there for me, and it still is today.
I’m nineteen years old and have been dating a man for the past year of my life, so often I’ve heard “You were just confused, you’re straight now because you’re with a man,” and other things along those lines. I just want to put it out there that no matter how much it sucks to hear things like that. To have people say “You were just confused,” “You aren’t bi,” “Just choose one,” as if they know you better than you know you. It’s something we have to face, even when the world preaches love and acceptance, we still don’t always feel it.
But that’s okay! It took me a long time to come to terms with who I am and to really love myself, and sometimes I feel belittled still, I feel patronized, and looked down on, but in every moment I feel like that I make sure to remind myself that what they believe says more about them than it ever will me. I love me. I love who I love. No matter what anyone says about it, thinks about it, or feels about it, that’s on them.
SMITTEN is coming out late October, 2019 via all good book stores. Published by Indie Blu(e) www.indieblu.net
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