Moheb Soliman

“I will try to get to the point because I try to be outside always for dusk and it’s time. This is definitely the right place to say this, because you’re here, though I’m not excellent enough to really get to say it, but surely some prolific or brilliant role models of ours would agree—writing and art aren’t the be-all and end-all rewards of life. They’ve got a host of inadequacies and flaws; there’s plenty of ambivalence to be had around these pastimes, daresay careers. I feel that even when I’m thrilled about making a poem good, or putting out a whole book (my first book finally, HOMES). Because I want to just run outside and say, I’m done, I did it, I finally described the streets, the woods, the life, and live, really just live then, and not render and translate everything into words constantly. This is my call: Stop writing, and go get into something non-representational. No streaming, no art show, no friendly phone catch-up even. Instead, go inhabit some place and perceive all, or do yard work, or sure, shop even (physically), do it. Get away from the arts, if you can, if you dare. I want to believe that writing and poetry are the excess of life, that they are about rich self-evident uncapturable lived life, not life itself. So it has to happen in its own right, for writing to happen in its own course. To be clear, I’m not saying when I’m stuck or needing inspiration I go out and do something and then write about it. Terrible! Please, do many meaningful things, and never write about them. If you’re wondering, like I have, what if I quit then? Then you’re in a pretty good place, I would say. You’ve wrestled the subject from the predicate, and nothing HAS to happen. What kind of writing is that—poetry?”
—Moheb Soliman, author of HOMES (Coffee House Press, 2021) 

Photo credit: Tulsa Artist Fellowship
Writer Photo: 
Writer Photo Credit: 
Tulsa Artist Fellowship

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Author: jkashiwabara

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  • June 9, 2021