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I don't know why poems appealed to me as a means of expression, but they always have. Years ago while attending university, my English professor assigned the class the task of memorizing a poem or writing an original poem. I thought everyone would write; my capacity for memorization is not very good and writing seemed the more natural thing to do. As it turned out, I was the only one who did. He asked me why I chose that path (I had wondered about that myself). I've come to think that there are expressions within us, which need to almost claw their way out to exist on their own, thoughts that are urgent, gnawing, fleeting or recurring; once exorcised through writing they don't bother us so much. That's the way it feels to me sometimes.

I try not to explain a poem, not to be pretentious but I think if it is good it should stand on its own. Occasionally when the references are obscure enough, I place a note for clarification. Poetry has conventions and tools and I try to use them, some of these poems are free verse, some use forms, and some experiment with "line messages".

I like poetry because it's an art form where protocol and abstraction combine words into meaningful expressions without necessarily understanding all the reasons why upon first reading. There is no subject-predicate agreement between deeply felt conflicts or emotional connections. It just is. These days people will say anything or do anything to flaunt conventions in exactly the same way as everyone else—it's the new orthodoxy. Future generations will not look back on us as repressed, but they may think us inarticulate and silly. Well, we leave our own mark and record. I hope these poems speak to some and amuse others. (Alvin)
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