Write What You Know

by Erica Bennett


Light became my friend in


At 4:31 AM, Pacific Standard Time,

When Reseda

Boulevard and Strathern Street

Rocked and roiled for an interminably

Long nearly

20 seconds.


My favorite Northridge story came

From a friend

Driving home that early morning.

He turned off his vehicle when

The Earthquake struck,

And said, out loud, “Wow,

Engine’s gonna blow.”

I laughed; after.


But in the darkness, then, in the

Early morning, in the pitch

Black before dawn,

After the Noise of a million

Breaking pieces of glass

And falling brick,

I couldn’t escape

My own home.


And so starts, BLOODLETTING AND POE, a slam poem I’ve written that expresses my grief over the loss of a recently deceased long-term… friend; for lack of a more descriptive word. I have heard, “write what you know.” In this, my experiment with form, I wrote what I was experiencing. I’ve always thought I immersed myself in my work, but this was the first time I actually “knew”, in the moment, what I was writing… I won’t, can’t, go back.

1 thought on “Write What You Know

  1. Yeah. Right on. Do it. (Lived through the Northridge Quake at 4:31 a.m. myself… and kept waking up at that time for several days after…)

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