SO: when I was university, I wrote two plays by sitting down
and writing two plays. I did a basic edit of them but really I wrote them in
less than an hour. They were original and pretty tight. If I might say so myself.
And that was it for doing plays in one night. Tonight, I was
at an Open Mic and a brought my poems, with topics like murder, soldiers, rape,
drugs and one cutie little one about soul mates. I as people were walking in
that this wasn’t the crowd and energy to do these poems. I scratched my name
off the performers list and thought about other things.
“Why” kept coming up. Why can some people do it and some
people can’t? Why didn’t I just get up and do the poems and not care about how
the room of older men and 13 year old’s would feel, what if I inspired them,
moved them, and made them think. That’s what I want my poems to do isn’t it? Wait why do I write
poetry? Because I like to come up with interesting images and sounds and make
I realized at one point, in this jumble of open, yet silent
thoughts, I would be yet another under-rehearsed, reveal of unreached potential
like the guitar player who doesn’t seem to own a metronome or think about
phrasing. I knew, I did not do all the work I needed to present my work to a
live audience. I couldn’t sit at the front of the room and wonder what I should
be reading- I needed to have been working on these poems all week, so I was at
“What” kept coming up too. What was my message? The last
time I stood up I was just a soul trying to get out of depression, mixing words
and sounds and not really worried about the message. Tonight, for the most part,
there was a message in my poems, that I wasn’t ready to share with this
audience, last months audience, which was what I was expecting: yes, but not
tonight’s. It wasn’t right.
The last two months I haven’t really written much at all. Life
took a huge shift and I started learning a new job and hanging out with new
people at new lunch times that had new patterns.
I’ve also been dwelling in why I can’t write like I did
(twice) 20 years ago. Tonight my answer was; I’m not that same person.
I’m no longer struggling inside myself and trying to get up
in the morning. I’m seeing the world around me interacting with people and “Yes”
I can wake up in the morning. So it only makes sense that I would think
differently about my poetry and it’s presentation. That I’m going to start to
think about what the message is, what do I want to say, need to say, need other
people hear, rather than just a words that sounded like music rolling off my
heart onto the page.
Now, I can start a written piece with a “sweet couple lines”
that come up in my head. Or I will play with ideas and feeling directly and
write pieces out of solid ideas. And it can take as long and be as complicated
(or simple) as I want it to be.
Kind Sir: This is an old game that we played when we were eight and ten. Sometimes on The Island, in down Maine, in late August, when the cold fog blew in off the ocean, the forest between Dingley Dell and grandfather's cottage grew white and strange. It was as if every pine tree were a brown pole we did not know; as if day had rearranged into night and bats flew in sun. It was a trick to turn around once and know you were lost; knowing the crow's horn was crying in the dark, knowing that supper would never come, that the coast's cry of doom from that far away bell buoy's bell said your nursemaid is gone . O Mademoiselle, the rowboat rocked over. Then you were dead. Turn around once, eyes tight, the thought in your head. Kind Sir: Lost and of your same kind I have turned around twice with my eyes sealed and the woods were white and my night mind saw such strange happenings, untold and unreal. And opening my eyes, I am afraid of course to look-this inward look that society scorns- Still, I search these woods and find nothing worse than myself, caught between the grapes and the thorns.
It’ve been seven years walking in the forest of
the call centre's AQ world. A path I had come to understand and take for granted.
I picked the fruit and knew it was safe. I was tempted a few
months ago for another path. And like Thoreau said, I became blind folded and
turned around once.
It doesn’t take much to get a human lost, says Thoreau, and
the line is echoed on the foggy shore by Anne Sexton in “Kind Sir:…”
I like the idea that it doesn’t take much to get a human
lost. I like that I am normal and extraordinary all wrapped up in one package. And
although standing in the same call centre, I was handed a blind fold by new
rules and co workers, twisted around in the centre of a tornado and commanded
to run forward, not only by those around me, but myself.
I’ve got to be strong, this is new. I took on a challenge and
voluntarily entered the new foggyness and although I am physically and mentally healthier than ever before; it will take me a while to stand straight
and tall, to find the fruit on the path that isn’t poison or crusted with
thorns and infested with spiders. To see te pit holes through the over grown bushes and toppled trees.
Kind Sir, it must be a new path that I’m on for it is more
of a challenge than what I believed it would be.
The one I read about in a self help book 20 years ago, that
said "it is better to have as many friends as I can. To be fair and nice to everyone
and keep myself quiet and let things work themselves out." This year Karma may
get a little push. When people hurt me I will not immediately make excuses for
them, I will heal myself from the verbal stab they have injured me with. I may even stand up for and defend myself.
at the person I was in my twenties, the person that I “just was.” Sure, I tired
to search my soul and understand who I was inside, but a lot of what I did was
impulsive and: just who I was. Now I search through all the crap that was surrounding
the impulsive me, and I can say that was the genuine me vs that was me being some
that I wanted everyone to like. I understand better... what survived and what didn’t, why things
happened the way they did. Justification.
Maybe 2018 will be the year of
I put up an
event invitation for the march of women this year and one of my co workers from
20 years ago, (Even though I felt completely awkward and unconnected with most people back then.) that I’ve managed to hang onto through facebook, liked my post. “Yep that’s
why I love her, that’s why she’s still there.” I said to myself.
We were all
the same age in our twenties and the other people we worked with were older,
and had been through their 20’s before. Now I’m working with people who are
just getting to know me, who are younger “and wiser” then I am, and things are
SO it’s a
new learning curve and new lessons. Lets go 2018.