I’m very excited to be working as a publicity intern at Tightrope. I love poetry, and am given to indulging myself by composing tidbits of poetry from time to time to satisfy my hunger for artistic and cultural self-awareness. It’s important to me that I produce a written record of the socio-cultural issues affecting my life as I journey towards wisdom and patience with the challenges life brings me. The act of writing poetry also distracts my mind from spiraling thinking, offering me a release.
I like to show others my poetry … not everyone, mind you, just my mom and a close friend.
Mom doesn’t seem to enjoy it, though … for her, the experience is akin to getting her teeth extracted at the dentist. I always try to reassure her that the poetry is not about her—which is true, we have a great relationship—but she remains inconsolable.
It’s too dark for her—she would prefer me to write about sunbeams and kittens, although we’re allergic. She and my friend are unanimous in their belief that writing dark poetry and especially, showing it to people, will drop my name from all future party invitations from my social circle, and will ensure that friends of friends tell each other that they will absolutely not attend any parties where I might be in attendance.
Luckily, I have as many friends on facebook as this friend, and although none of them have seen my poetry, I’m sure that those friends are interested in me because of the fact I do neat stuff like writing poetry, whether it’s dark or not …
My friend is an engineer, so is my mom. Nothing against engineers, they’re great people to be around, tons of fun, right? But they aren’t known for their literary prowess, let’s be honest … at least, not yet.
In my friend’s defence, his assumption that my weird moodiness would decrease if I stopped showing my poetry to people had some truth to it. I tried, as an experiment, to indulge my darkest thoughts through free verse, and keep that hidden away from human eyes. I not only felt more positive, I felt in control and able to take myself more seriously … there was none of the guilt that washes over me whenever I show someone I care about one of my embarrassingly dark poems about life’s disenchantments.
After all, life is never so bad that we need to dump all our emotional baggage on others, even if it’s wrapped up in a sweet little poem.
Many of you poets out there might beg to differ, and I could also probably pull out a dozen reasons why what I just wrote doesn’t make any sense … but that’s tangential and might weird people out, as my poor, defenceless friend might say …
Consider Little Venus, a groundbreaking collection of poems about sexual abuse—an issue I have yet to contend with. Are poets distancing themselves from potential readers, like moms who are protective of their adult children, by dealing with serious topics?