Where Did It Go?

I used to write poetry. I wrote it all the time. I have a two foot stack of notebooks filled with it (and I’m pretty sure I don’t have all of it still). When I was in high school, study hall was for writing poetry. It’s what got me through the rest of the day. Any little thing that was on my mind, it ended up expressed in verse. It got me through a lot of tough times.

Now, I’m not sure any of it was any good. I didn’t exactly go handing it out on street corners. Brom has read more of it than anyone, followed by Dursin, and then Denise. Everyone after that has read pretty much the same amount, because they read “Rantings”, a small collection I self published in High School.

But I don’t write it anymore, and I don’t know why.

Maybe it was an escape from the monotony of my classes. I’m not a classroom type of guy. I used to think I met Denise, became a generally happy guy, and stopped writing poetry because I didn’t need to anymore. I don’t really buy that. At best I’m a cynical optimist, and that’s probably a stretch.

There are a few clues. I can only write poetry longhand. I can only write longhand in pencil. The other day I actually was inspired to write a poem, went out of my office to grab a pencil and my notebook, and lost the lines and inspiration when Denise started talking to me about something. It’s not her fault, though. I’m sure Vanessa would have done something cute, or the phone would have rang, or whatever. I just don’t seem to do it.

So what’s the big deal. I used to write poems, now I’m writing novels. Well, I was proud of a lot of the poetry. More proud than I am of some of my current prose. Maybe I was more easily pleased back then. Poetry used to be easy in a way that my current writing is not. I would sit down and write a poem with no real idea of where it was going or what I was trying to say until it was done. It made any other writing I wanted to or had to do easier. It jump-started my muse. I really want that again. I want to write a poem or two, then get to the “real stuff” in a better state of mind.

Maybe it’s time to go through the old poetry and type it into the computer. The pencil is fading, and I don’t want to loose it. Maybe I’ll learn something in the process, but part of me is afraid of what I’ll find there. Some of it is going to be cringe-worthy. That’s all right. It’s the stuff that’s going dig up long dead memories I’m worried about.

But I really don’t want to loose it, because I may never write poetry again…

4 Comments

  1. Dursin says:

    All I can say is, “I feel your pain.” And I mean that literally and figuratively (sort of). I have always felt that I write more (and maybe better) when times are tough. I’m not some tortured soul, but I just get less inspired when I’m pleased at life. And you said you didn’t think so, maybe there’s part of you that’s the same way. Calling yourself a cynical optimist, though, is probably not accurate, because you’re the most optimtistic person I know. And let’s face it, it’s easier to write about bad things. Otherwise, where’s the conflict and resolution. I don’t know if this is the reason some people cut off their ears or whatever, but it seems like tough times do bring out the creative side of some people. Or, as one of my favorite movie qoutes of all-time says, “Hard times’ll flush the chumps.” (“Oh, Brother, Where art Thou?” in case you were wondering.)

  2. Jay says:

    Calling yourself a cynical optimist, though, is probably not accurate, because you’re the most optimistic person I know.

    I’m optimistic about the smaller things. I let most things slide and assume they will get better. At the same time I think most everyone is hyper-sensitive, about everything and overprotective of everyone.

    We’re breeding common sense out of the species. When you start protecting people from their own stupidity they loose all sense of accountability.

    “It’s not my fault I [insert incredibly stupid/dangerous activity] with my [insert incredibly inappropriate/dangerous tool]. It didn’t say not to.”

  3. Dursin says:

    Agreed. People are far too sensitive these days, some bordering on pretentious, and some crossing the border. But you are generally optimistic, with serious dose of realism thrown in. It’s possible to juggle both. Cynicism (an art I have perfected) is a different kind of realism. probably realism turned up to 11.

  4. Jay says:

    Maybe it just looks cynical from my generally optimistic point of view. :-)