writing about not writing (a paradox)

Writing a poem about not being able to write would at first just seem to be ironic, but in my case, I assure you, it is not.  It has been quite a while since I have written a poem that I really feel good and sure about, and so despite the fact that I have still been writing poems and attempting to revise old ones, I feel as though I am not writing.  So this poem is not ironic, though I suppose a reader could choose to take it that way.  I would have you think about it as a paradox: a poet can write prolifically but not be writing anything.  I add that it is not necessarily about the quality of the poetry, either.  It may be that to the reader, the poet’s writing has not changed in its meaningfulness and lyricism.  But for the poet (at least in my case), the poetry is not coming from the same mental/emotional/artistic place it once did.  And so, I am caught in a paradox; I am writing, but I feel as if I am not writing anything.  In this poem, I blame my poems for my not writing, but if you know me at all, you’ll see that I’m really blaming myself (though I feel a need to clarify that I do not have a “god is dead” tattoo, nor do I ever plan to).     That being said, enjoy my (non) writing.

Writer’s Block, An Explanation in Personification:

My poems have started sneaking out at night.
They have started drinking on street corners
and jumping in puddles,
and so I am constantly having to buy them new shoes.
They prefer vodka, my poems,
because they are reading Dostoevsky
and become idealists and dreamers
in spite of themselves.
They are shouting at me
that lofty suffering is far better
than cheap happiness
as I revise them.
They are offended that I add rhymes to them
like pink bows so that they will
cooperate with music.
No, they want their words to clash,
or so they tell me.
But secretly, my poems are wondering
where the spring weather has gone to hide,
and they are not so full of angst
that they forget to go looking for it.
When no one is around,
they sober up and hunt for dandelions
and patches of sky not covered with storm clouds.
They are afraid of looking cute,
and while they secretly get sunburns
and make daisy chains,
they practice furrowing their foreheads.
They all banded together one afternoon –
the day they turned 18 –
and with all the vodka money they had saved
got god is dead tattooed on their forearms
so that if they need to,
they can look serious.


6 Responses

  1. Like the poem, not crazy about the title. No … love the poem, hate the title. No, that’s not it … love the poet, wish the title were more like the poem, something I will remember long after logging off.

    • Well, I’ll consider that if I ever feel like revising the poem or its title. Also, of all my poems, this is not the one on which I would have expected you to have such a strong opinion. I’m trying not to read too much into it, actually, though I can’t help imagining you living in Florida in your place on the beach, gambling by night and reading Dostoevsky by day and wondering what you were doing with your life…

    • Potential new titles (vote early, vote often):
      “The Underground”
      “Confessions of an Ardent Heart”

  2. This is wonderfully angsty. I also enjoy that in the list of tags, ‘happiness’ is directly followed by ‘vodka’.

    • Hahaha, I almost forgot to put vodka as a tag, and I actually edited the post after I initially put it up just to add it to the list. And yes, this is absolutely and wonderfully angsty. The angst turned out to be slightly more blunt that I think I had originally planned, but of course, I don’t think I really had a plan to begin with. My poems, personified, also turned out to be more like me than I expected, but slightly more anxiety-ridden and adolescent. I think at some point, you told me that all poems are about the poet, and I think I’m slowly coming to realize that you’re absolutely right.

      • This means you’re getting a bottle of Grey Goose for your birthday. And then a visit to the tattoo parlor. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: