Editor's note: I couldn't sleep last night, and wrote this. It sprung from the fact that I had mentioned I don't like to show my poetry, and figured I probably owed an explanation. It was originally all in caps, because my phone editor is weird like that, but I guess people don't like being shouted at. So. This is what my brain looks like at one in the morning.
It's midnight, and my eyes won’t shut. I somehow ended up at a Tupperware party at the church, where I had glorious cake and a cup of tea. I then came home, had a Lemsip and tried to go to bed at half ten. Its freezing, the rain is hammering against the window, so I plugged myself into Envy on the Coast. A further mistake. You’d think I’d never met me before.
Because listening to Ryan Hunter’s lyrics makes me want to write poetry, and then I remember how long it has been. So I lie here, staring at the ceiling, remembering all the things I don’t want to write about.
There was a time where all I would write was poetry. Most of it was shocking, as in, shockingly bad. I won a young writers competition locally and got published in an anthology, but people are a lot more forgiving when you’re young. Because supposedly all you have to write about is your dog, or the bullies at school. I remember a classic moment that made me hate sharing poetry and spawned my cynicism of adult understanding; I wrote a poem about my old Graphics teacher, who had been imprisoned a year or two earlier for the manslaughter of his wife. He had always been someone who had encouraged me and made me feel like it was worth retrying and improving. I hated the things people said about him. I was trying, through it all, to demonstrate that he was loved, even in his brokenness. I read out the poem at the prize giving in our local Ottakars (now Waterstones), though it was the last thing on earth I wanted to do. Someone approached me afterwards.
'That was a great poem.'
Heart thudding. Is this the real thing?
'What’s it about?'
Are you serious? I just said what it’s about by reading the damn poem.
A pet? I could have punched her. Did you even listen? I wanted to say.
Now I know that in my youth, my strings of words may not have been wholly subtle or literary, but it was my feelings poured out on a page, and the fact that I won meant there was something in that. But it frustrated me so much what that woman said.
A more recent example was something I sent into Writer’s Forum, which was a mistake. I ticked the box for a critique, because that’s what a keen writer does. Well, I didn’t like it. Not because it was bad, but the whole concept of somebody else telling me that what I’m feeling doesn’t quite scan...
I’m not whining at WF, at all. I guess I just didn’t know myself well enough. Thing is, poetry is like painting. It delves and it strips away the mask to what’s beneath, and right now I don’t think I want to see what’s beneath.
Listening to EOTC’s LowCountry also makes me want to get my paws about those sticks again and attack my trusty Mapex. Except it’s sat in stacks because I live in a terraced house. So close I can touch the shiny red of its beautiful shells... And yet so far.
Maybe I will write some poetry. But without digging too deep, it would mostly be about tea. Anyway, it’s got to that point in the night where I’m dropping the phone on my face so I think I’d better try the sleep thing.