Jennifer Mathews is a self-proclaimed spiritual cheerleader who lives in Mount Shasta, California (or wherever her camper van takes her). Her lifework has included economic justice, laughter yoga, and facilitating conversations on living and dying. In her 2019 TEDx Talk, “Death is Inevitable – Grief is Not,” Jen shares how she responded to the death of her life-partner Kate with connection, gratitude, and joy rather than heartache. For more of Jen’s writing, go to JenniferMathews.com.
Why is love a worthier subject than erotica to write on?
Writing about love rather than erotica demonstrates how sexual orientation is so much more than physical attraction. Lesbian hearts connect deeply, and expressing this spiritual and emotional affinity is what makes the sexual desire come alive between women. Romantic love and intimacy between women is worth articulating because the sacredness of love itself can be orgasmic, whereas sex itself cannot necessarily achieve sacredness.
Have you ever been SMITTEN and if so, do you feel it’s possible to summarize those feelings in poetry?
I love the word SMITTEN and yes, I’ve been smitten many times in my life. Because it’s an experience beyond the reasoning mind, creative expression may be the only way to point toward what it feels like to be intoxicated by a woman’s presence. Visual arts, movement, sound, and poetry can at least attempt to capture its rapture! But words alone cannot convey what it’s like to be a woman falling in love with herself as she looks into another woman’s eyes.
How does poetry and identifying as lesbian come together for you?
When I write poems about being a lesbian, it’s like spooning with a new lover. I can feel the buzz as I’m pressed up against the poem. Anticipation, eagerness, and warmth swirl inside of me. My heartbeat quickens, then relaxes, then quickens again. Paying attention to the subtleties of what I’m feeling informs what happens next.
Being a lesbian and writing poems are both about being SMITTEN!
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