Monday, July 27, 2009

Why a poetry year?

Why try and write a poem a day for a year?

Because is sort of a general all purpose reason. But it isn''t my reason. In writing poems, there are a few I have written which stand out, and many which are just there. And yet, getting back to the best, there was no particular itness to that day, no special rainbow that landed at me feet. There was just a buzzing in my hands and behind my eyes. This led me to wonder how many days where there was a finely crafted trap of words possible, but which did not become actual. And so to the experiment of just writing, regardless of all else.

It was easy in early heady days to be moved rapidly to writing, when my emotions were like a fever, one every heavy player of games knows. It was easy when there were people who danced in and out of my life. But one measure of why I feel Second Life is dying, is such people are fewer and fewer, and the ordinary more and more common. This may be bias of selection, it may be my fortune when I was new.

And it may mean something.

It also keeps me out of trouble. There is a great deal to say about what is wrong with the world. People are horrid, nasty, stupid, greedy, vicious; they celebrate writers who share those traits easily. But beyond the foam of the rabid moment, people are passionate, compassionate, and thoughtful. They want a more beautiful world, if only they could stop acting like monsters long enough to pursue it. Writing about the first curdles the hands. Writing about the second is both a lonely, and unrewarding, experience. People don't really want to know the truth of love, they want to slosh plaster over their wretchedness with an kitsch version of love that justifies all the squalid little things that they do.

It is true of me, it is true of you, it is true of all of us. That's why we have the public figures we do, because people want a distillation of their worst, so that they can worship it. The idols of dark powers are all around us, rent in gold. In Earthsea by LeGuin: "the powers she serves are not the powers I serve."

However, what they, we need, we all need, and thus what is hungered for, beyond the taste of any food, or any drink, is love. The kind which shocks like a crack in the granite of a collapsing cliff, that crumbles resistance like a falling building, which leaves the greedy little self behind. That's really how you can tell the transient writers of no account, they cannot write a single true sentence or stanza on the meaning of love. It is foreign to them as a peculiar preparation of goat, or tripe might be. Their readers want to substitute hurly burly, bombast, braggardtry, and bigotry for real emotion. In person they can only yell, disrupt, or sneer, because, like that white faced villain of the Dark Knight, it is the form their face is permanently contorted into by what horrific accent we do not really know.

So a year of poems is not enough time for a scalpel of words to cut through all the layers, but perhaps it might be, in time and time.

No comments:

Post a Comment