There was a time, when I, like so many who are youthful, took to writing poetry in order to escape MY FEELINGS. Granted being a relatively ‘late bloomer’ my late teens and early twenties, we hardly filled with the sort of experiences of angst that provide a strong footing for some good Sylvia Plath Poetry Realness.
I MEAN I WAS TOTALLY ANGSTY, it’s just I lacked a good deal of real world experience to know much of what I was speaking and while I spent a lot of time guessing at what ‘adult emotions’ were, I think I spent to much time watching Hollywood fluff pieces and I pretty horribly missed the mark as to the flavor of real emotions.
There are literally hundreds of APPALLINGLY bad poems hiding on my computer presently. Like wicked little word trolls I keep stumbling across as I read these gifts left to a future me from a long since past self. (I mean ever the rather tortuously bad ones I enjoy. I mean they are parts of me, my past, my life. I’m so glad to have essentially stumbled into all of these old words of mine.) See this quest began as I was trying to find a short story I wrote in college, but I have no idea where i saved in, (or if i even still have it) and all my folder have absurdly un-useful names such as FINAL-FINAL- THESIS DRAFT 3. you know the folder names of a boy/man living in Scotland and discovering that deadlines and due dates are not divine companions. My computer files are about as organized as the bowels of a hoarders den.
I’m semi-amazed that my computer files are in such a state, because they are immaterial, in a sense they feel as if they should be organized. But sadly they are truly a nebulous-quasi invisible mess of half started word docs, and a thousand drafts of every essay I have every written, pages of notes, and the wreckage of about 2000 ill attempted film scripts.
As I load the previews of some of the more esoterically named Documents like, DON’T DELETE FINAL FINAL 7, I have entered into a dialogue with a long forgotten self. So many of these poems, even if horribly written, explore the angst I was experiencing as I tried to come to terms with my rather apparent-to-every-one-but-at-times-myself gayness and gender. Lacking a community I felt I could really speak with, (which has more to do with my inability to speak about these issues, not the people around me) I took to writing them.
NOW of course I remember in some sense writing all of these old poems, its just their purpose at the time was not to be read, it was to serve as a tool for helping me express my self. what is most haunting about it, is not what I say, so much as all the things I can see I was incapable of writing, even for my own eyes, and fingers, and sanctity of mind. The fear of naming my desires for instance was so strong, that it actually kept me from writing it. To name something is to define it, to think it was to be it. And of was I a master at self-subterfuge, refusing to acknowledge thoughts on my own faggotry in an attempt to cling to the vestiges of hetero/homo-normativity.
It’s not that I’ve ended up some where totally different from who I was then, the core of me is largely speaking the same, it’s just that I have begun to try and speak about the truth of myself, to at least myself, (if not others, especially Trouble and my therapist who are wonderfully encouraging) I sort of think and perhaps shall begin again this process of self-explorative poetry for a condensed period of time, and I shall leave these words, in hyper well organized files, until I am older still and can discover even more about myself in reflection.
BUT back to those poems…some of them I think are kind of cute and vaguely whimsical. There is an entire collection of poems i just discovered and forgot about writing where I took to imagining the lives of objects around me and providing explanations for their existence that were more in keeping with my ever present desire for the world to be a place filled with magical creatures rather than the agents of patriarchy. (Clearly these poems were written in the dark ages before Grindr)
In the spirit of sharing, here is a poem I wrote some years ago. I think it is of the utmost importance to write bad poetry. its liberating. Poetry is the conduit between language and the soul. It also does not have to make any sense. which is totally awesome in a world where we crave reason.
Ode to the Mile Markers
All those mile signs
That we leave hap-hazard
On the sides of our roads
Forgotten and rather useless
Thrown by giants
Into the earth
With the olives still on
In some celestial bar
To dull the pain
To the sun.
to end it all here is a CUTE man reading Circe’s Power by Louise Gluck, which is a poem i love almost as much as I love watching this an STRETCH. OH MY GOD THOSE ARMS. AND WHEN HE STARES INTO THE CAMERAS EYE AT THE END. SWOON