Day 14: The Fissure

Image by mac231 from Pixabay 

The Fissure

In the beginning, there was a woman.
There’s always a woman, or so it seems.
One gave me life, light, and all her knowledge.
Some other unlocked the madness within.

In the beginning, I had cracked the code.
Deconstruction, reassembly of phrase.
Dominion over syntax, noun, and verb.
Standard structure had yielded to my will.

Then some woman asked what it meant to me.
Encouraging thought towards deeper meaning.
I couldn’t find the right answer for her.
Smiling, she said there wasn’t such a thing.

Next, she introduced me to Robert Frost.
Suddenly, English and I were strangers.
The path not taken cracked a small fissure.
Slowly, over time that sliver split me.

I filled it with poet after poet.
Each time the fracture eagerly widened.
Langston Hughes led to a Gwendolyn Brooks.
The woman grinned as I re-learned to speak.

I gobbled up the greats, never filling.
Plath. Poe. Epics. Death poems. Always Hip-Hop.
The more I consumed, the greater my thirst.
“Now find your voice,” she said, always smiling.

I can see beyond sight; touch with feeling;
Taste, smell, and hear in all four dimensions.
In the beginning, there was a woman.
There’s always a woman, or so it seems.

My wholeness was splintered by a woman.
I was birthed by one and broken by one.
Poetry; born to me poetically;
Filling my mind with how little I knew.

It flashes from unfiltered nothingness.
It throbs when clawed at from outside the lines.
An entrenched urge to impress a woman.
A cliché-riddled love note to woo one.

Heartbroken angsty teardrop journaling.
Overzealous declarations of love.
Bleak brooding over unrequited love.
Self-flagellation over star-crossed love.

All of it ignited over women.
The ones who brought chaos to my order.
And then one day when I least expected,
It transcended, ending the beginning.
***

NaPoWriMo Day 14: Today’s prompt:

Today’s optional prompt asks you, like Alice Notley, to think about your own inspirations and forebears (whether literary or otherwise). Specifically, I challenge you today to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. These could be poems/poets/poepl that you strive to be like, or even poems, poets, and people that you strive not to be like. There are as many ways to go with this prompt as there are ways to be inspired.

When I was in Junior High, my normal English teacher had to take a leave of absence near the end of the school year. The substitute English teacher was much younger, and – stop me if you’ve heard this from me before – yeah, I had a HUGE crush on her.

But initially, her curriculum baffled me. I was all set to flex my mastery of breaking down and diagraming sentences for her, but she never asked for any of that. Instead, she had us read “The Road Not Taken”, by Robert Frost, asking us to interpret it and find our own meaning within it.

I scoffed at first, but eventually, very subtly, something shifted within me. Prior to that, I had already weaponized the written word via love notes to girls I liked, but her classes encouraged me to try poetry in earnest, for better or worse.

I’m still pretty much a one-trick pony, but I’m at peace with it.  

4 thoughts on “Day 14: The Fissure

  1. “Some other unlocked the madness within.” … Nice.

    “I gobbled up the greats, never filling.
    Plath. Poe. Epics. Death poems. Always Hip-Hop.
    The more I consumed, the greater my thirst.” … Love this section. Hip-hop is my favorite poetry too. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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