national poetry month / ritual / cream cleanser / by Laura Kochman

It's almost springtime in Philadelphia, and I am thinking about ritual. Lately, I've become interested in skin care, and it feels very much like an embodied ritual. I've had skin problems my whole life, all over my body except for my face, and I have spent so much time thinking about my skin as a headless thing that I kind of forgot the part that gets presented to the world most often might be worth taking care of. I went to a talk recently on ritual (in art, and elsewhere), and was reminded of the patterns that I set up for myself when I first moved here: early-morning writing, candlelight. Even the poems that I wrote were repetitions, all the same title, all attempting to move forward through repeated questioning. I'm a natural habit-former, I guess. I like the way it feels to return.

So if I can remember to wash my face, I can recommit to writing here, in a space that I originally built for honest, public thinking. These posts have waned recently, partially because I was not supposed to be sharing my thoughts on the arts, but I can do that again, and HI it's National Poetry Month. I never write a poem a day for NPM, because that is just not how my brain operates, but I can do a post a day. If ritual is about repeating in order to make something new, turning back to move forward, then / every day to face myself.