Incidentally, some things happened and now everything I wanted to say doesn’t matter.
I wanted to talk about feeling terrible and my birthday (it’s my birthday as of midnight) etc.
It falls in line with the unfortunate death of Robin Williams. however, an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown was killed by police on saturday in missouri. And we’re all talking about Robin Williams.
Neuroatypicality is something I know too well. But this life ain’t about me. And I refuse to ignore the death of some poor kid to contribute to making it about white people.
That’s all I’ve got.
Today Is A Day.
Unlike many of the ones before it, I was prepared for today.
The only thing I can think of to say is that I don’t know what to do in this situation. As such, I’m going to follow precedent and put something vague on a randomly picked website.
I have always said that there’s a mountain goats song for every occasion. This one, titled Waving At You, is too perfect.
That’s all I’ve got at present, I guess. Brief shouting into the void and wondering if there’s going to be an echo back.
In a couple days it’ll be my birthday, and then it will be time to Stop This Nonsense And Get Back To Work.
Look at that cutie. Also my oddly expressive face.
I’ve been looking around here. I have wanted to meet another poet because I know they exist in this town.
I have not been looking very hard.
And then there he was, this man whose name I don’t remember. An old friend of my primary partner, a year younger than me presumably. Shaved head and dressed for the holiday.
He asked me what I did creatively, and I told him with the same inflection I always use, ashamed and nervous about what happens after you know that I am a poet.
He said “me too.” Same inflection and I called him out on it. Finally, someone who understands what happens when you admit to being a poet! Someone who knows that in these midwestern states at least it’s an invitation to being read to, to being asked for critique by people who can’t bear to hear your honest opinion, or worse, being mistaken for them!
And then he said to me, “It’s hard to write poetry, because we know that we will never be as good as Bysshe-Shelley or Shakespeare or Byron or Keats”.
And then he went on to speak about sonnets, about metre, about rhyme and tradition. About free verse being an abomination. And he asked how I dealt with modernity in my work and when I told him it has never come up he stared at me like I was lying.
When you write exclusively about failure, ghosts and war modernity isn’t an issue.
Now, I have great respect for tradition and those writers who got us to where we are today, both in poetry and prose and the spaces in between.
I think it was William Carlos Williams that said “All of this is the birth of a new language”, or something like that. We are creating a new language. It is just as (if not more) valid than those languages once spoken by poets in the 1700s, and to my ears and eyes it is more beautiful because it reflects our actual culture. This is who we are now. In 20 years it will still be evolving and changing, and that’s so much more important than how many syllables are in a stanza. And even those old forms were once new.
It’s adaptation, and frankly, fuck anyone who values “The Traditions Of Writing” over the way that literature is a living, breathing, constantly evolving thing.
babes on babes
Such a good night.
(Again with the late nights, but sometimes long baths push start times back.)
I remember the last time I touched you, honestly more clearly than the preceding months of struggle. Our brains are kind sometimes, and so much of that has been missing from my memory for at least a decade. Our parents woke me up in what feels like the middle of the night but could have easily been anywhere between 11pm-5am. Our mother told me you were gone, and that now was the time to say goodbye if I wanted to.
I didn’t want to. I wanted to crawl back into my bed and give praying for a miracle one last chance before crying myself to sleep.
But I walked into that bedroom and hugged your body, halfheartedly. I could feel that it wasn’t you anymore. it was kind of like hugging a soft, warm mannequin.
I went back into my room and prayed for that miracle anyways. I’d been praying for a miracle since we were all in that hospital meeting room and they said a bunch of words that I didn’t understand because I was 9. I came to understand what they meant, though.