A Burbank writer is using poetry to help him and others cope with love, anxiety, heartbreak and healing.
In “Shelter,” Kevin Tyler Norman uses a recent breakup as his source for inspiration with short poems and prose in his 196-page book.
“That relationship didn’t end well,” Norman said. “If I’m going to go through this much pain, I want to make something of it.”
During 2017, Norman, 26, said he was in what he considered a whirlwind romance. In April of that year, he had met a man from Australia who traveled to Los Angeles for work.
The writer was convinced that he would end up marrying the man.
Despite the distance between them and the infrequent times to see each other in person, Norman said he and the other man tried to make things work.
There were numerous video-chat calls and the two communicated frequently through WhatsApp.
However, Norman found out there was another person in the mix — another man that his partner had been seeing back in Australia.
“He told me about him and told me that I was the person he wanted to be with,” Norman said. “So I flew out to Australia to be with him, and we made plans for me to live there.”
Although arrangements were made for Norman to move, the plan quickly fell through when Norman’s partner told him that he wanted to be with the other person instead.
“The next day I flew home and I never spoke with him again,” Norman said.
The entire relationship, which lasted until December of that year, was devastating for Norman.
He said he thought he was in one of those relationships in which love can keep two people together, but that wasn’t the case for him.
He learned that love is not a straight line and that there are peaks and valleys to relationships.
At the beginning of it all, he appreciated all the small things he experienced with his ex-boyfriend, such as getting dinner together or spending time with one another when he visited him in Los Angeles.
However, the breakup taught him how fragile relationships can be and how sometimes love can blind a person from the truth.
“I had my own intuitions that something was wrong, but I would ignore them because I just wanted to fight for the relationship and not let go,” Norman said. “I wanted to give it everything I had because I had always believed that when it comes to love and relationships that you have to give it your all.
“Doing that could either wreck you, but I’d rather look back and see that I tried than regret not trying at all,” he added.
While writing his poetry book helped him cope with the pain, Norman said he wants readers to understand that it takes time for wounds to heal.
“I hated when people would tell me that it would all get better with time, but the truth is, it does,” he said.
Norman said he has moved on from that experience and hopes that those who read his book reflect on their own relationships.