People who have near death experiences all talk about a peaceful, euphoric , bright light enveloping them. From the moment we are conceived, we are moving towards that light. This is my heels diggin' in, I don't wanna' go, reluctant journey, into the light. Stephen

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Poets Corner

What is it about poetry?  Of all writing, poetry seems to be the style most avoided by those who fear scorn, ridicule and embarrasement.  Is it fear of being called a Sissy?  Wimp?  I'm not sure from which dark cave these fears come forth, but I can tell you this; They are real.  It's hard, VERY hard for me to come out of the poetic closet.  Yet I can't deny it any longer.  It's there, in me.  From me.  It is me. Well, at least a part of me.  The closet door is open, and I ain't shuttin' it.

I have always used humor to deflect attention away from areas of my life I feel vulnerable about.  It's hard to slice and dice another while laughing at their funny story.  Humor comes easy to me, albeit my humor can be an acquired taste.  Self effacing, at times; I'll poke fun at myself before someone else can move in with a dagger.  Maybe it's just  feigned humility, but the writing comes easy and carries a lighter burden of rejection fears.

Not so poetry.

There is no hiding.  You are exposed, raw, vulnerable.  Assuredly, there will be scorn aplenty coming your way once you put it out there, but far greater rewards are there to be accrued.  The knowing nod of one who understands what you FELT when you wrote it, and feels it as well,  is tenfold more powerful than the dozen scowls of those who only know what THEY feel about stoopid poetry. 

Rhyme and metered rhythm done well can elevate words to art.  However, it's tricky.  While searching the deep recesses of your mind for the perfect word that captures the essence of say.......dropping the new Sports Illustrated into the toilet,  and rhyming it with bovine, can be challenging to say the least.  Even with less rigid poetic structures and compositions, mere words can still soar to amazing heights.  Unstructured poetry can be way more representative of live stream of consciousness capture.  Like the verse at the bottom  of this page.  I wrote it in about 2 minutes while commenting on Neptunus Lex

I couldn't begin to explain the chemical reactions in the brain and flights of the soul that trigger those sudden inspirations, but HOLY SHIT! I like 'em.  Poetry is a powerful medium for capturing and allowing others to feel the emotion, and by extension, the inspiration behind your words.

 I played alot of basketball and sometimes you are just  "in the zone."    You can't miss, you see things before they happen, you ARE Larry Bird!........ well, ok, so almost Larry Bird's 4th cousin but you know what I'm talking about.  Poetry for me,  is writing "in the zone."

Poetry can't be forced.  It happens when IT'S ready to happen.  If you are lucky, and your soul is open, receptive  and you are patient in  listening for it's call,  you might be lucky enough to be the one chosen as scrivener. 

One evening not so long ago, I was reading a beautiful poem on Brigid's blog and I felt a stirring and had quill and paper nearby.  Her writing opened my eyes, ears  and soul, and so I was prepared to hear when my name was whispered and the words were there.  They came easily, naturally, and I liked them. However, remember that fear I spoke of at the top of this post?  Fear won round one.  I evened the score in the morning.

And so for Brigid and Bill,


Angels dance, felt not heard

Mysteries shown, but not revealed

Mortal puppetts, can't say a word

Hang from heaven, fate not sealed




virgil xenophon said...

Don't you know you're not the RIGHT KIND of guy to write poetry? A man who loves guns and chases after filthy lucre for the, gasp, PROFIT MOTIVE? By being one of those "fat-cat" businessman Obama warns us about? Where is your "sensitivity" toward the plight of your workers? CAPITALIST! Fie on you! Where are your literary credentials? Where is your poet's union card? I'm gonna be checkin' back on you! You obviously need watching....

Stephen said...

Virgil, After your well deserved admonishment, I have tucked both tail and fuzzy chin and as soon as I finish this cold beer, I will begin a period of solemn recompense and atonement for my sin of being a trigger happy capitalist. My Bad. stephen