About the Poet:
Matto practicing Tai Chi outside Union Station in D.C. Photo courtesy augenphotographicstudios.com
Matto (Shinkai): author, photographer, filmmaker, artist, inventor, teacher, engineer, carpenter, producer, entrepreneur, spiritualist, martial artist, monk, lover, fighter, Chimera wrestler, and Jedi Knight.
…Ok, maybe those last two are only true in a figurative / abstract sense, but I did actually join the Jedi Order at one point! Seriously, though, I follow the path of the Bodhisattva (previously Ch’an, now Soto Zen) and I have been given the Dharma name ‘Shinkai,’ meaning ‘Deep ocean.’
You can see some of my other projects at Matto.xyz, but I consider this website to be my ‘main’ website.
About the Project:
Lotus blossom, photographed by Matto at the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, Washington D.C.
I started writing poetry to help me process and appreciate the heightened emotions I started to experience in 2010. While a traumatic event triggered these changes, I used the practice of writing poetry to focus my mind and allow myself the opportunity to reflect on my spirituality and humanity.
I decided to publish the poetry to a public blog (that I didn’t tell anyone about) to force myself to become more comfortable with sharing my emotional, spiritual, and sexual nature. After a couple years, I had hundreds of poems written and I started to share my work. I never stopped.
This project has shaped me as much as I have shaped it.
About the Poetry:
The majority of my poetry is short and haiku-like, but they don’t follow the traditional form that many readers expect. These poems are written in a free-verse style that I call Freestyle Haiku. I discovered the possibility of this more freeing style of haiku from the writings of the Zen priest, Santōka Teneda (1882-1940). He wandered and traveled during the later years of his life while writing haiku.
I enjoy writing poetry, because I can express abstract and powerful feelings in only a few words–free from a mandated structure. These poems are the most direct crystallization of my feelings and experiences, and the brevity of haiku draws attention to the exact words I choose…
But sometimes I write longer poems, too,
Which might be more like a renga, than haiku,
But this doesn’t really matter to me…
and I doubt it does to you. ;)