Writer’s Profile: Mark Lee

By: Shaqlan
08/01/2021
en

This is an op-ed by Shaqlan that dives into the creative writing capabilities of Mark Lee, and how he is able to spark meaning in his poems.

 

When I learned that like me, Mark Lee dreamed of becoming an author as a child, I was curious as to what kind of writer he would be. What kind of stories did he have to tell? How would he tell them? What inspired him? Listeners glimpsed his style through his lyrics, which range from the sharp and witty self-written raps he is known for, to more sentimental ones in “YESTODAY” and “QTAH”. His poems take this to another level, and although we only have two of them so far, NCTzens already enjoy and appreciate him as a poet.

We write to tell stories, conceptualize feelings and experiences, and to understand and connect with ourselves and others. All writers do this in their own ways–and although we may never know for sure, I feel from his poetry that Mark does so to understand his world and communicate the value of experiences, big and small. 

 

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A post shared by Mark (@onyourm__ark)

 

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A post shared by Mark (@onyourm__ark)

In “late night scribbling,” he takes us on a night-time trip through his mind, full and frenzied with questions he sleeplessly searches for answers to. His fascination with the unknown leads him to map the liminal space between his limitless abstract sky of thought and the black-and-white of reality through his words. This brings its own challenges, such as a draining state of insomnia from the incessant shark-like thoughts, but it also generates a perspective unique to him as he embraces this struggle by writing. He shares what makes him the writer that he is, like an introduction to the journey of his growth that we are about to witness. Writing could be how Mark makes sense of his world and where he stands in it. Bridging thought and reality this way makes poetry what it is, and enables the empathy and connection that makes it worthwhile.

 

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A post shared by Mark (@onyourm__ark)

These bridges of poetry can be built anywhere if we open our minds and hearts to the world around us. In “black socks,” an ordinary item of clothing is taken on tangents that ask us to “live out what’s in our minds” and to take “a moment to think twice about what seemed unimportant.” It is a grounding and pure piece that reminds me of how connected we are to everything around us and that we can have profound realizations if we live more consciously. He honors the little things because stories are actively lived, even in the simpler moments. As a writer, it reminded me that there is never a shortage of ideas and inspiration can be found anywhere. 

Mark’s poems are made more enjoyable by how he ensures his audience has as much of an experience as he does. So far, they have been spontaneous and show a trend of using enjambed lines to mimic his thoughts. His simple editing transports readers and enhances the form and structure of his poems to add meaning. In this way, he builds interactive worlds where the seams of black socks and sweatpants meld into a stream of thoughts for you to live out in every step, and goodnights are invitations to a waking dream. He reminds me that perceptiveness and a conscious appreciation for the countless connections our lives spring from are necessary to flow with the neutral pulse of existence or ride the erratic waves of late-night existentialism. 

When you read something that makes you feel like you and the writer share worlds, that is when you are truly connected. Mark’s openness to share his experiences of how he came to write and how he connects with life through an all-black outfit has been both comforting and inspiring to me. I appreciate him for bravely doing so and look forward to seeing him grow as a fellow writer. 

 

Read more about how Mark Lee has inspired fans with his talents and sincerity in this touching op-ed here!

 

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