Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I was checking out Blogger's Delight today. It's amazing to me how you can follow the links on a blog or follow the links on the profile of a commenter on a blog and open up a whole new world.

So Blogger's Delight is a space for people to share their writing - and right up front, first thing I see is this piece by Sojourner G that just blows me away. And aside from leaving me with an ache in my heart and stomach that feels a lot like hunger, it reminds me that I love poetry.

It reminds me that my first love was poetry. That before I tried writing short stories and screenplays, before I found the fun in writing essays, before I made money writing ads, before I discovered message boards and email groups and blogs - before all of that - I fell in love with the idea of playing with words.

My first favorite author was Dr. Seuss. And say what you will about him. That man was a poet. Then, in third grade I discovered that I could actually write poems of my own and that captured me like nothing else ever had. I wrote poems all over the place. That same year I discovered Shakespeare and knew he was a little too deep for me right then. But I also knew I'd be coming back to him when I was ready. When I had the experience to understand what he was talking about. I was probably the only person in my 9th grade English class who was thrilled to see Shakespear's sonnets and Romeo and Juliet on the reading list.

So from the time I was 8 years old, until about 1987 I wrote poems on a semi-regular basis. But they were always deeply personal and rarely shared. But in 1989 I discovered a restaurant that did an "open mike" night and I started going and reading my poems. It was frightening and wonderful. And I would have probably become addicted to it. But I moved and my life underwent many changes and I stopped writing poetry completely.

For 6 years I didn't write one single poem. And then in 1995 I separated from my husband (and eventually divorced him) and I started writing poetry again. For a few months the poems came slow and stilted, but they came. And then I entered another relationship - my present one with the Bull - and the poetry disappeared again.

It's been 12 years since I've written a poem. That's too long. I've known for a long time that I've lost some essential part of me. That being in a relationship tends to result in me boxing off some part of myself. But I haven't known how to stop doing that - how to open that box and let me out - without ending the relationship.

I think, though I most often blame him, that this is why there is always so much upheaval in my relationship with the Bull. Why I am so frequently dissatisfied with the relationship and why I have so often (most recently this summer) considered leaving it.

I don't know how to get to myself or how to let myself live within a relationship. But, I'm willing to consider that I may have found a path - a door - a way to get into the box I've been hiding in.


It's time for me to start writing again.

Now, here's the thing. I think I have to share it. No hiding it for fear that it sucks, that I suck that I can't write. No being afraid that I'm sharing too much, letting people see too much of me, know too much about me.

I have come to realize that I am a secretive person. I don't really like letting people in - letting them know me really well. I don't share my thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams very well. I keep A LOT to myself. I don't even share most stuff with the Bull or with any of my friends.

I am willing to consider that this might not be healthy. That maybe I need to open up. So, to that end, I am going to force myself to share my poetry. Oh my stomach clenches, my head hurts and I want to curl up in a little ball just thinking about it.

I pulled out a book of poems that I wrote - mostly in 1987, but a few in '89 and some from '95 as well. I am going to start posting them here in chronological order. I was going to pick and choose - only write what I thought were the best ones. But then I read through them and decided they all sucked and that I shouldn't put even one here because it would be exposing myself too much. Which is exactly what I have to get past. So I decided the only solution is to post every, single, sappy, trite, horrendous, self-indulgent, dreck-filled poem.

Starting with this one:

Are we not hypocrites after all?
Striving and denying
all in one breath.
Hoping and rejecting
at once.
And if we believe
we know
what it is
we want
it is
a delusion.

1 comment:

Ros said...

Write write write! Finding your way back to poetry sounds fantastic. We know writing for you is what dancing is for me, I know how hard it is to let myself dance, I'm fairly sure I understand the approach/avoidance thing you have with poetry & being in a relationship.

Dreck-filled poems -- I'll read every one. If it makes you feel better, I'll even share one or two of mine -- yours cannot POSSIBLY be worse.