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.
I definitely subscribe to this method sometimes, the idea that if you’re feeling shitty then making yourself fancier looking will help at least a little. Not the only method I’m using right now (the double bourbon method has never let me down), but I still have to wait for this nail polish to dry and I promised mostly myself that I would get back into blogging.
It has been a long week, not just because of the events that I’m not going to go into detail about, but also because those events have really brought out the anxious side of me. It’s been a minute since I’ve actually had to figure out what to take to get to functioning in the face of panic attacks.
(spoiler: it’s L-glutamine. L-glutamine is pretty awesome. I asked Camille for a magical “calm down and become prepared for all of this” pill and I think that L-glutamine is the closest thing I’ve ever taken to that.)
This has also meant an abrupt stop to work. That annoys me, but I do understand that if your hands are shaking too much to hold a pen it’s completely acceptable to not write.
I got a telegram today. Eventually I figured out who it was from, but for a while it was a mystery. Mystery or no, I really appreciated it. It was short but beautiful.
Really like it.
I guess that as much as the terrible parts weren’t cancelled out, there were enough good parts to not give up.
925 asked: ugh
It’s pretty cute when people you don’t know leave you messages like this.
Hello there! You keep on feeling your feelings and don’t let anyone stop you!
…And there was the time Chad accidentally stabbed the floor.
Should I be concerned?
Yes, past anesthesia. You should have been very concerned. Present anesthesia is laughing at you and also wishes you would have taken that shit more seriously.
I woke up in your bed,
staring at the side of your face and like it was normal,
grabbed one of your pencils and started
to amend your features.
until you didn’t and then wondered how the hell did I end up
here and why was I scribbling on your face with your nice
expensive drawing pencils,
I had no answers and you told me that I had gotten the
details right, except for one dimple.
You said that I had ‘violated your privacy’, and that you would
do the same for me and then you pulled me on top of you
(both of us fully clothed), grabbed my hips and aligned our
bodies, told me to shift my weight and started yelling
"FULFILL ME! YES! FULFILL ME!"
and pushed me off of you and got up laughing.
Thanks for returning the favor.
Hearts Newly Arrived (or Revellie)- Songs: Ohia
This particular thing was inspired in part by Bob Schofield,not in subject matter but in style. He does some pretty killer prose poems. I only mention that because I think he’s pretty brilliant and the rest of y’all should click that link. He’s been a pretty big inspiration to me lately. Hi Bob!
This is the first draft of this particular thing. so critique is welcome. Or whatever.
Folding is too easy these days-
Give everyone else the right of way, sit down and be done with it. Follow the trajectory of a reticent gambler. Respond only in kind, affections all tempered by the last story arc and I dare you to make an easy mark of me. Mumble something about the sign of Jonah and keep going, treat honesty as the most important thing when really it’s worthless. Speak the truth or don’t, but be sincere. Time’s going to show us what desperation is, what loneliness is, who’s a sucker and who’s genuinely giving it another shot.