07 July 2016

Poem-A-Day #129 : Ars

One of the first things people say when they discover I write poetry is "I didn't know people still did that." As if the art form died with the Beats. Another thing people say is "That's cute." As if poetry were a baby or a puppy to goo goo at.

One could make the argument that poetry DID die mid-20th century and we are all just writing out our feelings these days. One could perhaps even call it cute, many writers are definitely that. I've been obviously sensitive to this issue for a long time. Even in high school.

The original:

Why I Do It (1/27/99)

I try to write with conviction
1000 years standing behind me
I write at the edge of an era to keep it outside of me
I write to see if anyone agrees
Because I can do it
I write because though there is no special place where writers gather and hand out gold stars it makes me matter
I write to make me think that I could someday be happy
I might grow to be happy
I write to feel better
To communicate my thoughts
I write to put a word      here
To exert what little control I have
I write my emotions out of me
It has helped me out of dark things that I am amazed I survived
I write to escape myself
To stop suicidal thoughts
I write to tide me over until my next meal
To take space
Make myself larger
I write to fill in the lies, inadequacies
I write with guilt that I have the time to do it.

The edit:


There is the idea - a sort of cracked crysalis
          it is a word - on a page - in a rain storm

So much history in that liquified body
          a compact overlay of evolutionary fact

We write to feel ourselves - to take that pool and make it again
          let's no pretend we can fly - let's pretend we can emerge

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