When you find out, please let me know. To be completely honest, I've done next to nothing in the entire duration of my "poetry career" with the "poetry scene". I've got a couple of thoughts on why that is:
1) I never liked poetry. Well, that was the thought up until recently, but only in the last year or two did I actually start having an appreciation for it. Even now, though, I admit that I don't know much as far as true, academic poetry is concerned. The running joke is that I just wanted to be in a metal band, but I didn't know how to play an instrument, so I started screaming without one, instead. That's not entirely true, but when it came to writing within any sort of defined parameters, I felt as ignorant as anyone. I may add that true poets are quick to point that out. My favorite was an email I got from a guy who flipped out on me as much as is possible in type-text, informing me that there is nothing special about what I do, that everyone goes through what I go through (and therefore there is nothing special about the content), and that I don't even know how to write poetry. Kindly, I wrote him back in full agreement and explained myself, to which he responded with apologetic respect. My general perspective has always been that there truly is nothing significant about my story, but there is something altogether significant about my savior, whose name I have sought to honor through this project.
2) I've always toured with bands, and only really started doing any solo runs after I got married. Even then, it was in the context of contacts I'd met through music - venues, house shows, churches that hosted us up throughout the years. I started touring with underground, sub-culture artists, so that's the niche that I knew. And those are the people that I'd built relationships with, personally.
3) I wasn't up to par with the talent. There are some amazing poets out there, man. Thinking back on the history of LTP, I just don't see myself ever having had the talent to keep up. I'm not trying to downplay what it is here, but I think that the content, delivery and composure was no match for the wordsmiths that were killing it on the mic. That's fine, because I was never interested - I wanted to scream at hardcore shows - but it is true nonetheless. Even a few nights back, I was talking to a poet that booked us on this month's Awkward Blues tour, and we got to talking about Werewolves. He said that he would never discredit the work that people admire in that album, but he has a hard time listening to it. Honestly, I agree with him. I listened through that album a few weeks back, and I think it's a miracle that people like it. Don't get me wrong - it's me, it's my story, I'm proud of that record, I love it - but I am more astounded at the grace of God in and through it than I am about whatever talent, or lack thereof, is displayed on it. I am so unbelievably thankful for the people that have connected to the story throughout the years… it blows my mind.
As time goes on - to get back to truly answering the question - I want to be more involved with other poets and wordsmiths. I'm trying to hone my craft, and I'm wanting the words to speak more for themselves. I'm convinced that there is still a way to express the raw emotion that people love about Levi The Poet without screaming every line. People that follow me will see that progression most notably between Monologues EP and Seasons, and I recently put out a single called The Beginning. The Separation. that is a further step in that direction. I love it. I hope that I can continue to progress, and that some of you will continue to follow me through the process.
Here's to learning and progressing, all of us together.
Many of you submit daily questions about life, death, and everything in between. This is the third in a new series of blogs in which I hope to respond to the most common of them. Search through and submit your own using #AskLTP.