Friday, February 18, 2011

Why I don't write poetry

There is a metric fuckload of emotional poison filtering its way through my psyche right now. Sometimes I can write about it when it's happening. Usually I can't. I need to run experience through the distillery of my subconscious before I can bottle it.

It leaves my mind clouded and preoccupied.

Enter Twitter.

Via a link from a link from a link in my Twitterfeed, I came across one of those "Fifty things to blog about" lists.

A bunch of them were bland. Some of them were clever. Some of them were stupid. Some of them tried too hard to be creative and ended up stupid.

There was this one suggestion: "why I don't write poetry."

My first reaction to "why I don't write poetry" was along the lines of "Fucking Neanderthals, go watch some more reality TV." Did I mention I'm having irrational anger? It's my fragile emotional state. Don't judge me.

It was really personal. Something against people that write poetry. And I write poetry. I've spent to much time steeping in the with-us-or-against-us defensiveness of American debate culture, I need to retune myself to gradation. Sometimes an opinion is just an opinion.

I've started writing poetry again, over the past couple years. I try to write poetry about stuff that isn't poetry, and I try not to be self-indulgent. It's easy to write self-indulgent poetry about shit like break-ups and abortions.

There was a big gap in there where I didn't write poetry, or anything fantastic or fictional at all. Technical stuff, documentation, emails out the wahooza. But nothing personal, nothing that expressed me--at least, the part of me that existed outside and independent of a corporation. I did drink and fuck a lot, though. Creative energy has to go somewhere.

When I was a teenager, during my Manic Panic phase, the one where I listened mostly to Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana and Pearl Jam, I wrote a lot of poetry. I don't need to describe it further. It's a boon to the literary world and my own ego that, sometime during my second year of college, I binned it all. Six years of angsty hormone-riddled Reznor/Cobain inspired emotional outpouring, gone. I expect my comments to fill with heart-felt gratitude.

Or not.

Because even writing shitty poetry is better than writing no poetry at all.