It is my pleasure to host author Michael Froilan on my blog today. His debut poetry book Clouded Thoughts is out now!
Me: What sparked your initial love for poetry?
Michael: It’s pretty funny because one of my childhood dreams was to become a Hip-Hop artist/Rapper. And essentially, it influenced me to develop a fondness for poetry. I know it’s a given, but Tupac is hands down one of my favourite musicians. I remember watching his documentary Resurrection back in 2003, and I was intrigued to find out he wrote poetry before becoming a rap icon. And I think, in a way, that also has been influential.
Me: What according to you is the first step to personal transformation?
Michael: Good question. I’d say it would be admitting to ourselves that we are jagged. We all have deficiencies we have to accept and own. Not many are willing to take that first step because they choose to pacify their vanity rather than building their character. Humility is essential, and it will take you a long way.
Me: How important will you say healing is in helping one make the inward journey you talk about?
Michael: Another insightful question. I’d say it’s pivotal. I think the inward journey is what leads to healing. We are actively diverting our attention towards the outside noise. And it’s almost like a way of sedating ourselves. Rarely are we completely aware. We mindlessly hand out our focus towards insignificant things and people, that we tend to neglect our personal and spiritual needs. And sadly, there are so many malnourished souls out there.
Even with mirrors in the world, we hardly ever take the time to face ourselves and reflect on our lives. We are quick to dodge our demons and avoid confrontation with ourselves. And it’s just an unhealthy way of living that leads to destructive worries and anxieties. Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Many of us are ailing more in the mind than in the body. We tend to turn to other people for restoration, hoping they’d better our wellness and soothe our pain. Living in such a rapid world, we scramble for quick fixes when it comes to things, including ourselves. We are all broken in subtle ways. And I feel like acknowledging and accepting our shortcomings and suffering is key to healing – which plays a huge part in growing. The journey almost always starts from within. And before all else, we must swallow our pride.
Me: What made you pen down Clouded Thoughts?
Michael: My sweet girlfriend inspired me with her dreams to fulfill my lifelong dream of publishing. Shoutout to my Sweet Virgo Girl! This collection is an accumulation of two decades worth of my writing. Personally, I view it as my mixtape in book form. Ha.
Me: How do you intend to impact readers with it?
Michael: I hope those who read it are reminded of their potential and inspires them to challenge their excellence. I hope my vulnerable thoughts and emotions “in-spires” the reader to become more self-reflective and that they lessen their impulse to compare themselves to others. I hope this solidifies the steel in their spine. I hope this book encourages the reader to confront their inferiorizing attitudes and beliefs in order to liberate themselves from psychological hell. I hope this book assists the reader in overcoming their adversities.
Me: How do you develop your poems? Can you guide us through the stages?
Michael: Most of my poems started as journal entries. I don’t have a fixed schedule when it comes to writing. And to be honest, I hate writing. I feel like you can’t force it. It just comes to you. Well, for me at least. It’s hard for me to sit and pick at my brain to try to come up with something to write about (hats off to the writers that can). So, usually, I have to feel it first more than anything. And that’s when I let the ink bleed for me. Editing comes many weeks later.
Me: If it is not a problem, will you share a poem from it? A favourite of yours maybe?
Michael: It isn’t easy to pick just one because there are many meaningful pieces to me. But since we’re talking about healing and transformation, I’ll share with you this one:
Today I find myself
looking in the mirror,
searching for answers.
An aspect of me is about to die.
Maybe I know which it is,
Maybe I don’t.
I don’t sweat it.
Every moment something is changing.
Regeneration is routine.
We are not the same person overnight.
Some would argue that we are.
I say it’s our outlook that doesn’t switch on impulse.
Today’s sunrise won’t be the same hereafter.
We can’t spot the wind alter
but it’s happening
before our aging eyes.
As far as one can tell,
change is encouraged
until your betterment makes others unsettled.
Your improvement will cause discomfort.
You will soon encounter
those who think they know you
striving to remind you of your past
rather than exerting energy to facilitate their future.
The worst of you is what they’ll use
to try to disfigure your refinement
– A sad case of crab mentality.
There’s a difference between change and transformation.
A lot get old but never mature.
Millions will go to bed tonight and sleep on themselves.
Tomorrow they will wake up and smell the coffee, but they won’t rise.
Some want to level up.
Some only want leverage over others.
Me: Are there any new projects underway?
Michael: Time will tell. 🙂
Michael Froilan is a Filipino-Canadian poet and artist. He was born in Manila, Philippines and grew up in Scarborough, Ontario.
He self-published his first poetry collection Clouded Thoughts on Valentine’s Day of 2021, dedicating it to his family, friends and significant other.
His work illustrates themes of Personal Transformation. Awareness. Humour. Duality. & Empowerment.
He’s a student of Revelation and an advocate of Gratitude.
Find Michael on: