My former wife used to tell me to write things down on paper to get them out of my system, even if the end result was crumbling up the paper and burning it. I never followed her advice.
Last year, life pressed down so heavy I finally resorted to her advice. Like her incessant proclivity for proscribing Apple Cider Vinegar to cure any and all ailments, I would only give it a try when the illness was so bad that any SHOT IN THE DARK seemed a welcome risk. I hate Apple Cider Vinegar to this day, but if a sore throat gets to be unbearable, I confess I imbibe.
So, it came to pass my life had become a living hell, the equivalent of an unbearable sore throat, raw and incessant, and impossible to swallow cause of the pain. I had little choice but to try my former wife’s remedy (No, not the Apple Cider Vinegar! Life wasn’t THAT bad, afterall). Her other remedy. I got out paper and pencil and poured out my heart and mind, and was surprised at what resulted.
Now, I don’t claim it to have been great poetry, in terms of meter and structure and rhythm, but it was undoubtedly a pure expression from the heart. The best part of all was that upon completion of a poem, there came a sense of cleansing within, like something had been swept out that had become a binding force. So I kept sweeping, or cutting, or bludgeoning, or whatever was necessary, to get the ideas down in verse.
And then I became obsessed with structure
It was all pretty rough stuff really, free form and loose, until the day I read a certain book I acquired from my former Wife, once upon a time. One she happened to pick up from a library sale, and one I happened to have borrowed from her, and one that happened to be in my possession when the divorce… happened. I lost everything in the whole world that had any meaning for me in one fell stroke… but I had that book! I held on to it because it reminded me of her. Then I read it…
and the world of poetry opened up to me!
Suddenly I became aware that something called FORM existed. Something called STRUCTURE. Something called METER. The names and the types and the history and the roots of poetry. Then I put it into practice and was pleased with the results. Finally I had found a way to clear the emotions from inside me, and simultaneously feed my addiction for endlessly noodling something into perfection. (As perfect as humanly possible, anyway).
I didn’t scrap my early poetry, because poetry is truly about expression after all, regardless of technical skill. But the newer stuff I started became an exercise in reviving old forms and types; a challenge for me to try and BURST FREE FROM THE BOUNDARIES, WHILE STAYING WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES. My kind of game.
Some of my poetry is up on this website, some of it is not, for various reasons. I have added notes to the bottom of some of the verse as background information, and as a way to clarify certain expressions.
Primarily, I love art. My former Wife loved art, also. She still loves art. She is the greatest singing talent that ever lived(If she only ever finds the words…). She is an artist of great gift. My truest desire was to be in collaboration with her in making films, but things got derailed. Life is messy. Really messy. I lost the love of my life. I lost my best friend. I lost my source of comfort. I cry myself to sleep most nights. I sleep on a cement floor… alone… and remember… and remember… &c.
Pardon my weeping violin
But it’s true. And it is much of the driving force behind my expression… poetic, or otherwise. I suppose this is true for any artist, that their art is more influenced by their private pain, than by their blessings. My former Wife’s art seems that way to me, so beautiful, but laden with some inner pain she tries to express, and uses as a creative force. Sometimes the narcissist within me feels hurt, like I am being used as a dumping ground and scapegoat, for all the ills of her life… but then I remember it is all just expression, and it had to come from somewhere, and if I have been of service in that regard, then I am humbled.
Perhaps I have contributed to some of the artistic expression she strives for, just as she has acted THE MUSE in my poetry, and novels, and screenplays… and someday films. The agony stemming from pain and loss seem all-powerful in terms of poetic expression, other things so mind-numbingly bland by comparison. So in that regard, I am grateful that she awoke the poet inside me, which would have slept forever otherwise….
Thank You, Lady!
My three novels are coming along swiftly and surely, the more sleep I deprive myself of, the better they become… heck of a formula, but IT WORKS! (raging insomniac that I am). And the screenplay I am currently writing is the best film I never could have conceived, were it not for the anguish inside that never sleeps. I intend to shoot the film next year, God willing. Then I will have done what I set out to do SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. Until then, it’s poetry, novels, and lumberjack shows. In that order.
I also intend to write about film, as it is what I know best, so perhaps some new articles in the future on that topic, in my own twisted style… so just a little…
Atchtung! & Fair Warning!
Jilted film dude coming through.
Thanks for the boost, Lady. Thanks for the book. Thanks for the inspiration. Thanks for the memories. Thanks for the songs. Thanks for the Apple Cider Vinegar Remedy… and making me swallow it… whether I wanted to, or not…