Writing is endlessly interesting and stimulating, never boring and those are the good parts. But it can be lonely, frustrating, and a fulsome vehicle for self doubt. But it also can be used a gift I see that we can give one to the other. This weekend I went to a friend’s birthday party, a woman I admire. I decided to write her a birthday poem, describing her as I saw her, writing it in the intense vein that is unfortunately or fortunately mine, not knowing before what kind of people I would be reading it. It came the time for my poem and I knew this poem would do the dastardly thing of revealing as much about me as I read it, as it would about her. They knew her, they did not know me. I had put my whole self into it so there was no obfuscating my own exposure. After I read it (nervously once I understood what was about to happen), I saw people struck by the truths of it and the audacity I had had in not being “cute.” (My friend deserved more than cute, I thought.) I saw that the poem affected some deeply, confused others, and who knows what else it engendered? But it was the risk of art. And once I got over my embarrassment, I was proud. I had once again taken the risk of art which is about revealing. And when you reveal, you feel naked and can be mocked. But so what? You also give a gift to those who might be interested in receiving. And isn’t that the point of it all?