Ashley Obscura is a Canadian-Mexican writer, publisher, and editor. Obscura's poetry is concerned with the intersection of the written word with digital platforms, and with using her poetry to acknowledge and explore life in a post-digital age. She is the author of the poetry collections Ambient Technology (2018) and I Am Here (2014) and many digital poetry projects, including Songs of the Lost (Manchester International Festival, 2019) and Museum of Symmetry (National Film Board of Canada, 2018). Obscura has been anthologized as one of Canada’s 30 Under 30 poets (With/Words Press, 2017). Her poetry has also been anthologized in the United States and has been translated and published in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and Romania. The founder and managing editor of Metatron Press, Obscura currently lives in Montreal, Quebec. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Professional Writing and currently works as a publisher, editor, and writer.
I discovered my love of poetry in grade 10. I was lucky enough to have a lover of poetry as an English teacher and to go to a high school that offered a Creative Writing class. I remember one of my first poetry classes was devoted to dissecting the meaning of e. e. cummings’ poem “since feeling is first.” I talked the whole class and was fascinated by the realm of metaphor expressed in the poem. This excited me very much. Poetry seemed, to me, to be some sort of puzzle similar to math, but composed of words, sentiment, and feeling.
since feeling is first
e. e. cummings
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
– the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says
we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis
I started mimicking poetry in elementary school when I disovered the books of Shel Silverstein, particularily “Where The Sidewalk Ends.” I loved how poetry pointed to this mysterious, magical, internal world that was not visible to the eye.
Learning to write poetry, for me, required a lot of impersonation of writers I admired. I moved in and out of a lot of impersonation before I stumbled upon my own voice and was able to comfortably refer to my self as a poet. I didn’t start introducing my self as a poet until I had completed my undergrad in Creative Writing from Concordia University at the age of 24, although I always considered my self a poet in my mind.
A poet’s job is to synthesize an experience of life into language.
“Regardless” by Aisha Sasha John.