When I was a freshman in high school, I took a poetry class. As some of you may recall, I’m actually pretty bad at poetry. That’s never stopped me from writing it, though. In my youth, my poetry was all blood-red roses, allusions to suicide and the dark shadows of the world. I’m not saying I was a goth kid, but I’m not denying that either. There might have been trench coats involved. Some part of me reasoned that in order for my poetry to be deep and meaningful it had to also be gloomy.
Here’s a small example:
Rain crashes down
dreary, angry, sad.
They grey day is how I live.
What can I say? It was the 90s. That was what we were like back then. If you ask me who my first celebrity crush was, I’d have to admit it’s a toss-up between Christina Ricci as Kat Harvey in Casper or Claire Danes as Angela in [amazon_link id=”B004GN8HKW” target=”_blank” ]My So-Called Life[/amazon_link]. I had a thing for dark, gloomy ladies. I guess I still do, but that was mostly tempered by Allison Hannigan’s myriad of bubbly characters across, well, everything in the late 90s.
As I entered my early 20s, and began to experience not only the harshness of the real world, but real, genuine depression for the first time in my life, writing poetry pretending to be depressed began to seem childish and stupid. Interestingly enough, I kept the trench coat for a long, long time.
You can never escape the poet’s soul, though. It lingers and creeps like a celebrity stalker that also makes excellent chocolate-chip cookies. You can never get rid of it. Not really. So, eventually it wanders back into your life. It always seems so new and fresh.
When it made it’s first resurgence, I was somewhere between old enough to drink and old enough to rent a car without a real adult co-signing. I was in a pretty dark place emotionally. I was depressed most of the time. I used poetry to go looking for spirituality and romance. I really wish I still had some of those poems. I think they were the best I’ve ever written. They didn’t once mention rain, clouds, or ironic references to Bambi as being a dreaded forest creature. Some of them were even positive.
I don’t know where they ran off to, but I can only hope that it was to some moldy stage in a smoke-filled beatnik cafe somewhere. I like to imagine that they are recited to people wearing turtlenecks and snapping their fingers in applause. That’s a good life for a poem.
All these years later, I am still drawn to verse when I get stuck in prose. Of course, like most things about me these days, my poetry tends to be silly, conceited, and strange.
I’ve struggled with my fiction writing all week this week. I’ve been obsessed with working on it, and it hasn’t been coming naturally and warmly the way it sometimes does. I’m done glutting myself on frustration, and have decided to step back and take a small break.
As is my way, and inspired by my friend Tracy’s chord-striking poem, posted earlier today, I’ve turned to my old lyrical friend.
So, without any further adieu, I submit for your reading pleasure my latest procrastination, Thoughts and Actions of a Farty Brain.
Sleepy, bored, frustrated.
I grind my teeth, anxious.
Nothings on TV.
My music is old.
My apartment smells like feet.
I clean and I dine on burritos.
The smell does not improve.
My mood does.
Lightened, happy, full.
It feels forced.
It always feels forced.
Probably because it’s forced.
I drink a generic zero calorie cola.
The night is heavy like a comfortable quilt.
I should wash my quilt.
I don’t wash my quilt.
Laundry is upstairs.
Froggy game, no high score.
Thoughts and Actions
Going, going gone.
It’s time for bed.