My daughter’s currently obsessed with a couple of songs about the inevitability of death, whilst I’m over here, just grateful to hold it together for another day and not look like I was flattened by a steamroller along the way. This is named after a piece of music which my husband considers samey algorithmic nonsense, but I find rather soothing. You can’t have everything in a marriage.
I am becoming acutely aware of the disparity of what I know is taking place around me at any given moment and how my brain processes this information. It’s a disconnect, and this is not the first time I have felt this way before. It’s another part of the puzzle which I’ll deal with when I talk to the mental health people next week. Until then, here’s the reminder that your eyes sometimes lie to you because they’re not fast enough to process reality as it happens…
Monday’s optimism was a little tarnished today, mostly because I forgot Rule #1 of the Internet: don’t let other people’s success diminish your own achievement. Sometimes it can be hard to be objective, and then you remember all the good work you have done and everything is okay again. Everyone started somewhere, after all. This is as good a space as any for me to begin.
I have absolutely no idea how this happened at all. It just fell out of my head in five self made-pieces, last taking prompts from previous four. It’s odd sometimes how these things just happen.
It’s a long way from where I was on Monday to where I am now.
There to here’s strained gasp away
pain never leaves anything, well
stitched within this soul.
Here was now, a breath ago
hidden panic, exposed
juxtaposed across decades
disturbs uneasy timeline
stuck tightly to my soul.
greater confidence, self-defined
unexpected truth unwinds
expletive, summarily repeated.
Then to now, alteration;
recognition what before, no longer
reassign priorities, regroup.
There to here’s return to form
hidden panic assuaged:
unexpected, belief transcends
emergent; new direction.
It is odd, sometimes, how the things we least expect to emerge in our work end up doing just that. This poem is a case in point: the events of this poem are 100% true. The verse maps out a real, difficult event in my late 20’s. There is one deviation from fact, for the sake of a convenient conclusion, but this will be the second time this particular moment has surfaced in my poetry.
I know why this happened, at this point in proceedings. Lockdown is taking a quite particular mental toll on the trauma-affected areas of my brain: last night was a case in point. Understanding that this stuff is happening is one thing: dealing with it, when it happens, another thing entirely. Getting it out of the brain and onto a page/screen is undoubtedly helpful, however.
Next week’s poem, as a result, is a differenty beast entirely.
calm, nerves flattened
we’re all friends here
except, over there
middle finger raised
not this again
since when was he
on my side, big man
now what, possibly
mind’s already sold
axis powers pact
bigger picture painted
middle finger salute
exit, stage left
phone number, meet hand
It’s been another week of lockdown complete, with poetry becoming easier to tap into. That’s an encouraging sign, considering that I’ll be dipping my toes back into competitive submissions after Patreon work’s done. The biggest single issue, of finding a cohesive and credible voice, seems to have been properly put to rest. There was no a proper comprehension of how I should sound when presenting poetry until quite recently.
Being taught is one thing, as I have discovered in exercise, but grasping the reality of that teaching is another thing entirely. Comprehension is the bridge that has always been lacking. How do I move from here to there without losing the essence of what I am? How is it possible to combine subject matter with the right level of objective emotion? It is happening now, of that I am confident.
The next step, undoubtedly, is to put these new skills to work.
Nature’s affirmations, cautious life emergent;
darkness is shrinking, sunlight’s warmth singing.
Anger released, exhaled; everything goes, nothing retained,
cleansing rains: vital pulse, regained.
Cool skin, thawed heart: blue backdrop, green shoots:
framed palette perfect, backdrop painted.
Grow strong, daylight’s confirmation: turn, upward destination,
larger space not trapped below.
Confidence reborn, harvest ready; life takes time,
relax, allow world to match pace, good grace.
I’m quite tired. Fortunately there’s only five more days of exercise for REDJanuary to complete. Fingers crossed I will not have a repeat of the trauma relapse that happened on Thursday for a while, and tomorrow there’s a new back shave and hairdo and that is always something to look forward to. In the meantime, I have nothing to say about this poem other than it was a useful exercise in stream of consciousness writing, and that I’m likely to come back to this at some point for a rewrite.
That reminds me, I need to sort out the February headers tomorrow…
In Darkest Days
Monday’s muted hue reminds: don’t quit today, not finished here; mind left awry, piled Jenga high each countless resolution neatly filed, marked decades past.
Tuesday’s ruby heart pumps strong: another mile, muscles dictate; progress made far past
expectation, stamina evolving unpredicted revelation.
Wednesday wanes, impostor syndrome looms, all alone ‘cross sweat stained rooms; bad moments burnt, kindling bright: evening’s progress strong, consistent pace.
Thursday’s emerging, different past, everything placed: inescapable reality’s thrall deposed, unopposed ascendancy guaranteed, unstoppable forced.
Friday doesn’t mind, forgiving sins: dice thrown, snake lies slain; Eden’s burnt remains. All this will pass, promise paid, toss broken gains.
I stopped writing weekly poetry for Social media when it became apparent that work could be used elsewhere… to maybe make me some extra cash, or win a contest. After a year where neither of those things have come to pass, it is time to go back to what was working best for me in terms of creativity. This is the equivalent of drawing every day. It is means by which my craft improves.
These words are the best ones.
That means 52 poems, including holidays: Monday to Friday (or in this case, three days for the start of the year.) Where months start mid-week, I’ll write less (Week Five will also only be three days long) giving time for a bit more rest. The proviso here is everything is written ‘live’: no weeks of polish. If it’s a verse a day for five days the original selection will be skeleton-built the week before and amended on the fly.
That means next week’s five verses are ready to roll starting tomorrow but might totally alter when I post them. We will see.
For now, this is a solid start.
That Kills Us
Repetitive, blamed infamy
always somebody else
pointing finger, insinuate
your problem, halved
segment, rotten whole.
Slope, madness descends
finger given, on the way
past circles held, restricting,
other people’s selfishness.
That kills us, possibility
this time, perhaps, is better;
sad inevitable, lies:
hope only held eternal
if goodness sets her springs.