One thing I've noticed among poets is our tendency to describe our relationship to poetry in terms of another art. Both Chase Twichell and Frank Paino consider themselves "frustrated painters" or "painters with words," while someone like Beckian Fritz Goldberg says that she progresses through a poem by how it sounds, by its music. C. D. Wright and Lynn Emanuel both experimented in a wide range of arts before becoming poets, and their poetry, I think, reflects this.
I did something uncharacteristic of myself today. While revising a poem, I added something to it. Typically, I'm a deleter when it comes to revising—I only see what shouldn't be there, and, I noticed, while writing, my main goal is just to get whatever I can onto the page because I know I can always come back later and take away whatever doesn't belong.
I think this makes me a sculptor.
(Confidentially, I took a sculpture class as an undergrad with Maria. One of our assignments was to build an animal from found sticks and twigs. Maria constructed a beautiful turtle. I, lacking similar vision, bundled some large sticks into a faggot (literal definition of that term) and built a nearly-life size giraffe. I articulated one of its legs so that its paw dangled from its L-shaped arm and called it "Limp Wristed Faggot." My sculpture teacher was not amused.)
Sometimes sculptors have to add things back.
I've commented before about how connected I am to cinema, how I perceive there to be a natural relationship between film and poetry, and yes, this does somehow fit. I'm most interested in cinema that is visual—Baz Luhrmann, Pedro Almodóvar, Steven Soderbergh, etc. Cinema is an edited art, which means things are spliced out and spliced in; I have been known to gerrymander two poems together or to split them up.
If I were to describe myself as a poet in a metaphor, I would consider myself to be a frustrated filmmaker. Not necessarily a sculptor, although I think our methods are similar.
What's your metaphor for poetry?