It’s somewhat hard not to ask yourself what she does. Is she a poet, is she a musician or perhaps a writer. It’s time to introduce Maxine Marie. There are no rules in art, according to Maxine.
On her Instagram account, you can find the words “There are no rules in art.” True, because it’s hard to define what is and isn’t art. For one it can be a beautiful painting, for the other it can be a sculpture. How about poetry? How about the music? Something that Maxine Marie (1995, Philippines) combines. This former Business Administration student and research analyst is what she describes as a poet-singer-songwriter. She became a fulltime artist in April 2019. Not for money or fame. Maxine has a strong opinion about this:
“If my writing inspires even just one person to love and enjoy the crazy art of living, that would be a priceless achievement for me.”Maxine Marie
As you can see on her YouTube channel and one of her Instagram profiles, she has covered music by Lana del Rey. Surprisingly, she doesn’t mention that when it comes to her inspiration. Then she’s talking about Emily Dickinson. Her first poetry experience.
That was a long time ago when she was much younger. Today she is busy organizing her thoughts, it seems. Although she thinks she doesn’t plan much in advance. There is nothing wrong with that in itself. It seems to work for Maxine because she registers that she is sometimes inundated with so many different thoughts.
“Writing is my way of processing my thoughts and feelings. I am such an overthinker that my mind is usually filled with racing thoughts interlaced with jumbled emotions.”Maxine Marie
It’s an interesting way of describing the reason for writing. Maybe you can ask the question if you are very critical if it is unique. Some more writers and poets say they all do it because sometimes their heads are full. Therefore she continues: “A lot of what I write is about the process of making peace with my flawed self and the imperfect world.”
Now it gets interesting! You don’t always write to get your thoughts straight. No, you write because you feel that something needs to be done. In Maxine’s case, it is acknowledging that you have mistakes yourself and maybe even live in a world that is not perfect. Whether that is a world that should be searched close to home or whether you should look further, that doesn’t matter. We see it so often in literary history: poets who write about how vulnerable they are. About a world from which they are sometimes alienated. But what about Maxine?
“Whenever I write, it is usually for my sanity. But in a way, I also want to inspire my readers to strive to love themselves and revel at the beauty of the world within and around them, even if it is so difficult to do. I know this sounds idealistic. I am also probably speaking from a position of privilege. But this is how I have come to love life. Though I am not happy 100% of the time, I’ve been growing more and more at peace with life. If my writing inspires even just one person to love and enjoy the crazy art of living, that would be a priceless achievement for me.”Maxine Marie
She shows that she is a driven young woman, who wants to share her creativity with the rest of the world. That’s when it gets a little confusing. Without knowing all of this, you might ask yourself the question what is she? Is she a poet or a singer? It’s good to know, that she’s able to tell what she thinks about writing poetry and writing songs: “Poetry and songwriting are so similar however for me, the difference lies in my goals for my pieces.”
In a way, poetry seems to be easier to promote. She finds it a challenge to record, produce and promote her music. It requires a lot of resources and helping hands from others. When she writes poetry, she doesn’t need the help of others to share her words. Besides, her poetry is an inside view: “It is just like giving the world a peek into my diary and all its rawness. There is less pressure which is why I have shared more poems than songs.”
Can you be both? Can you be a poet and a singer-songwriter? Well, the best example you can think about is Tupac Shakur. He wasn’t just a rapper or an actor. He was also a poet. So yes, you can be both. As long as you are committed to what you want to do and you have a similar mindset to Maxine: keep going even when the going gets tough. Even if only one person listens to your song or reads your poem. Her message, between the lines: be less strict with yourself. It’s not about the number of likes. It’s about the message. Perfect right?
As said, sometimes it’s difficult to find out where to find her poetry on her Instagram page. This is because she also shares personal experiences and music. There is nothing wrong with that: it shows what kind of person she is: a creative mind who does not want to constrain herself to limits when it comes to that creativity.
The poem “Bloom” is a comparison to a rose. Everyone knows that game where you pick the petals of a flower one by one. In her case that is more than “He love’s me, he loves me not.” You can also let it “bloom.” When you let something bloom it is more than just letting something grow. You enable it to grow into something beautiful, such as a rose. A rose is of course inseparable from love.
She wrote this poem in one month (in 2019). In this poem, she constantly changes her point of view. Between him and her. With the pressing question: is what I have to offer good enough? That’s one of those insecurities you face when it comes to love.
What if the other says there is no love? What then? Will this stop you from asking questions? Or does this lead to more and more questions?
And when you are done with the flower? What then? Then there are probably many more questions that remain unanswered. If you think very carefully, you may already have the answers yourself. Your insecurity can cause your vision to cloud and you can remember those answers.
Maxine’s advice is to dance. Together with your love, in the rain and shine. Because that’s life: rain and shine. High mountains, deep valleys.
My eyes have a perfect almond shape—
he loves me;
But my hair is somewhat flat—
he loves me not.
My arms are smooth and sculpted—
she loves me;
But I fear that I’m not tall enough—
she loves me not.
I’m fun and smart and pretty witty—
he loves me;
But sometimes I could get rather dull—
he loves me not.
I’m cool and quite the charmer—
she loves me;
But my past is such a messy lot—
she loves me not.
What an unfortunate thing to do—
To sit there plucking your own petals
Picking yourself apart
Figuring out what they must think of you
Do they love you or love you not?
You let the question chip away at you
As if the last petal left unplucked
Holds the entire blossom’s truth
When a single petal’s all that’s left
And it says, “yes, he surely loves you,”
Tell me, will you be satisfied? Or will you
Have a restless urge to scrutinize that too?
And if it said she loved you not,
Will your questioning stop there?
Or will you go on asking, “Why doesn’t she?”.
“Who does she love?” “How should I change myself?”
Won’t that final petal later be,
Like the rest, blown by the wind?
And won’t the answer that it carries
Anyway leave you unconvinced?
Why tear yourself over questions
To which the answers are at best assumed?
Better dance under both rain and sun, my love
And bloom and bloom and bloom
More about Maxine
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