Thursday, 12 December 2013
Lots has happened in this last month or two: Two new jobs. New hair or more like no hair. Actually this picture of Emily Dickinson is not far off my new "do". New attitude (the fact that I have yet again evolved a new attitude in itself is not new - it is a matter of how long it will last). My experiment with lifestyle a la depression era went relatively well. But...I don't feel like writing about that right now. I am going to ease back into to my diatribes.
As I was cleaning out some junk areas of my house, practicing my feng shui, I found this musty old collection of papers bound by lavender wool string and covered in faded purple construction paper. It was entitled "A Poetry Anthology by 'me'". The title looks like a messy attempt at calligraphy done in Crayola marker. I was obsessed with calligraphy in Grade 8. Who wasn't? The most interesting part was the prophetic opener:
“Ricky was "L" but he's home with the flu,
Lizzie, our "O," had some homework to do,
Mitchell, "E" prob'ly got lost on the way,
So I'm all of the love that could make it today.”
- Shel Silverstein
Somehow at the tender age of 13 I knew I would embark on a journey that would end in finding love for "V" (that's me). My mother although not prolific in her words of wisdom, has been wise in choosing what to share, and her advice is always both powerful and sticky. Included in her and now my mental library is this: "Remember - you are always your own best friend". I think this poem reflects that sentiment well. This thought has gotten me through a lot in the past. It does of course help that I am an introvert by nature.
The rest of my Grade 8 Anthology included a strange assortment like: The Highwayman, The Eagle, Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not Take the Garbage Out, and one called Our Existence by Laura van Brederode:
I live to exist
In my childhood
I live to love
In my adolescence
I live to enjoy
In my aging life
I live to await death
In my last years
I die to live
I am reborn.
The choice - slightly morbid and maybe some Christian undertones there. I will never get rid of my deep fascination with death and a love for things dark and gothic; however, what would I pick now to put in my anthology close to 30 years later? Actually some of the R Kelly lyrics on the new Bieber track called "Put You Down" (PYD) are fantastic:
Cause I’ve been doing forensics on your body in this club
Now I can tell the way you walking bunny ain’t been touched the right way
It seems your man been treating you like a step try-out
Some of ‘em are out , some are in
And I’mma get on the floor and shut the whole game down
Until I hear you cheering babe
Have you spelled out my name babe
See I wanna give you all my love
Be your dope man in the bedroom
You can make me your drug babe
And it don’t make no sense to be there baby, oh no, baby
Yep - you read it here and it don't make no sense.
Writing poetry or lyrics, good or bad, is a daunting task for anybody, and I am sure that R Kelly goes through the same as every artist. I used to love writing poetry in high school, and studying it in University. I still read a lot of it too, but it unfortunately appears to be a pretentious hobby. Can you imagine I am on a blind date:
Date: "And what do you like to do in your spare time"?
Me: "Oh - I read and write poetry".
Date: "A-huh. I see."
Date and Me: ...silence....blink, blink...more silence.
Unless of course I am on a blind date with a poet. Well then I might be embarrassed that I perhaps over-exaggerated the fact that I do actually write poetry. So I am going to prove my fictional blind date poet wrong.
Re-birthing my writing in the form of poetry is going happen. Right here. Right now. And I am going to cheat. P.blogem will be a little experiment, sort of using a tool from my past work life called the random word technique. For those of you who have led or participated in brainstorming, this is a fantastic way to generate new ideas. Here is a good reference on how to use it: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/12/26/random-word-brainstorming-a-simple-powerful-and-effective-ideation-technique/
I just finished the third book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series called Voyager. I decided to randomly select pages and point my finger at words on each page to come up with an inspiring list of sentence fragments from which I drew the lines for my poem. Here is the result:
When I made up my mind
I closed it silently.
Of course. It's my home.
Messages I give myself not to be sent to others.
Of course not. It's my silence.
With the same instinct
I nod toward the smiling moon.
A shadow squatting on her heels,
Clinging to the shoulders of the earth.
Little more than a whisper,
I'm not going to forget.
Of course. I was vulnerable.
I didn't envision you utterly bewildered.
I know the dark line of the scar that slices
the man beside me.
Of course. I cannot see it.
I have been personally acquainted
With my own slightly slanted demons.
When I made up my mind.
I closed it silently.
Of course. It's my home.
"It's not bad, but it's not good either"
- Mr. Parker, otherwise known as Ralphie's Dad after sipping some wine in A Christmas Story