Writing in July 2000
So here I am. Hey, we could write
something. No kidding? I've been writing "something"'s for almost 20 years
now. I have enjoyed the thrill of writing new things, continuing other
things, and completing old things. Writing can be fun and theraputic. I like
I am in a down stage for writing excitement. It's a little like a slump, but
not really. I still get brain flashes, see, and people in slumps don't get
brain flashes. Also, I still think thoughts in trick/connector patterns--so
as to form standard 2-line rhymes. People in slumps can't do that. And, oh
yes, I am talking to myself. Talk, talk, talk, chatter, discuss, speak,
persuade, ramble, specify, discover; man, I've got it all. People in slumps
just repeat stupid questions to themselves over and over; like 'What's wrong
with me?' and 'Why can't I write?'.
So my problem here is either self-induced, or at least self-regulated. It
must have something to do with emphasis, priorities, or discipline.
Back in the days of serious writing for me, I put everything I could into
each poem. It wasn't about some words being "good enough", or if something
"fit" pretty well. I would get either the words or the feelings perfect, and
often I got both. I wrote well, and I expected to be treated as a person who
wrote well. Then I started seeing some of the work of other people who were
considered good writers.
I saw alot of attention being paid to some very average writings. I saw
side-notes and throw-a-ways by others praised as innovative and ground-
breaking. Awards were being given to people who did not take the craft
seriously. This was an outrage.
Obviously there is a "process" going on in the poetic world. Investments of
both time and money are necessary for any amount of recognition. This really
shouldn't surprise anyone.
I wouldn't mind the investments of time and money so much--if all of the art
and artists were judged equally. After all, I used to live to write; I would
stay up for days at a time; I'd spend hours on individual lines. I'd
research inductive and deductive traffic for the sake of a single
verse...And what about the ending? Poems don't just end themselves, you
know? Well, many of the little corporate commerce poems you read do, but
that doesn't make it right. Poems are supposed to clinch. They're supposed
to grab you, throw you, smack you in the face. Come on now; the hero must
die, the villain goes straight, or the story was really just a dream. The
ending of a poem MUST have some kind of "oompf", some kind of noise,
a lesson, something; otherwise it's just a winded run-on-sentence that
finally found a period.
As you might have figured out, I don't like all poets. I don't like all
poetry either. In fact, I hope that there are many rich, highly-praised
free-verse writing pansies out there who don't like my real-world poems.
Really. I don't want to be liked by everybody because I don't like
Somewhere along the way, I lost my desire to be a poet. Don't get me wrong;
I am a poet. I have written some amazing things. But you'll never see them
in a book.
My problem right now, in July of 2000, is that I just don't have the desire
anymore. The burn has fizzled. I have nothing left to prove to anybody, and
I don't want to be associated with many of the people who are considered
poets. This isn't 'writer's block', and there is no slump. Inspiration could
be lagging a bit, but I've had a whole week here to find something other
than my "mid-30's crisis" to focus on. I am just a little less than jovial
about putting pretty things to paper.
I know a lady who just went to some big writing seminar, and it really got
her going. Now that might work for me. But I don't have any time or desire
to go to a writing seminar. And I certainly wouldn't pay for it. And then
there's my attitude problem, my mid-30's crisis, my lack of need to prove
anything, and that I'm not really in a slump. Did I mention that I don't
want to be associated with all poets, too?
Do you see this? I'm still just waving my arms around at nothing. Whoosh.
Whoosh. It's like I'm swatting at flies that you can't even see. But the
flies are real.
Let's turn it around to you. What would you want me to write about? About
how fair life is? About how much I love being alive? Hey, how about "love"
itself? Do you want to hear a glossy speech that is "system approved", or do
you want the ramblings of another unproven rebel? Either way, I cannot help
you. I am neither approved, nor unproven. Your unfamiliarity is not my
concern. What you see here is what you get; no bells, no whistles, no
reviews and no sponsors. There is no Randall House publishing here, and
there are no Marlboro ads. You should kiss the ground for how lucky you, the
reader, are. You get to observe this medium with no interference of any
kind. You are free to pass your own judgement without any preliminary
filtration; you are free to come to conclusions based upon your own
findings. Life should be this fair, but it's not.
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