As part of our profile series on the Riggio: Writing and Democracy community, 12th Street asked Riggio student, poet, essayist, fiction-writer, and photographer Isaac Lobel to ponder about his audience. Here is what he had to say:
Obviously, you are my audience. So you will not mind when I tell you that I’ve been recently writing poems. A poem is not cathartic to write, but it is cathartic to have written. When I say I like writing, I mean the business of pain. Although there are three ways I see as a writer – through the senses, the mind, and the heart – I have been disproportionately seeing with my heart; promising for poetry, but terrible for everything else. When I think of audience, I think of my responsibility to be clear, interesting, and true for your sake. If I think of you, I might think in red or in blue, and compare you to the weather. But when I think of us, I try to simplify, streamline, and make reading about something happening rather than something that happened. Writing without an audience is a tree falling in a forest of sound. In your ear the magic happens. Without you, why should I write? I depend on your existence, so thank you, audience.
Isaac Lobel‘s work has appeared in The New York Times, Out Magazine, The Global Jewish News Source, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a collection of humorous essays.