Interview with a Poet — Thinking About Poetry Series
Happy Friday, everyone! I was asked by Zay Pareltheon to participate in Scrittura’s “Thinking About Poetry” series, and my response was published here. Thank you for inviting me to participate, Zay. I enjoyed writing it far more than I imagined!
Well, hello there! I suppose I have a bit of explaining to do, what with my whole ghosting of my own blog for a few months and whatnot and so-forth. To my half-dozen loyal fans, I apologize. I promise that it wasn’t planned.
Everyone in my family is safe and accounted for so far. Thank the Infinite, the fickle forces of fortune, or whatever deity you prefer. I am certainly grateful, all things considered. So, where have I been?
You see, what happened was …
… well … you know …
*gestures passively at the world*
… all this.
You see this shit too, right?
A few fun facts about me; (1) I am almost famously, aggressively non-confrontational, to my own detriment; (2) I foolishly expect the world to respond to my kindness and empathy in-kind, and once that blows up in my face; (3) I have odd, quirky ways of dealing with my runaway anxiety and depression, and yeah, I’m talking about fixations beyond my normal go-to mind-numbing solutions.
These unprecedented times are when my normal escapisms (alcohol, weed, writing, gaming, sex, porn, etc.) don’t quite cut the mustard.
I still indulge in them, but, I mean, come on; Erin and I actually discussed a bug-out plan where we drain our bank accounts, leave everything behind, and flee to Canada if things continue to go south … and that’s … well … hilariously insane coming from citizens of a so-called “developed nation’s middle-class”.
I’m surrounded by people who voted for Voldemort to Make Nightmares Great Again. What’s worse, many people who I once respected believe that both choices are equally bad instead of the more rational perspective of “less than ideal” versus the continuing nightmare hellscape full of rabid, heavily armed, utilikilt-clad, incel manbabies. (No disrespect to peace-loving utilikilt enthusiasts. It’s a great look as long as you’re not actively assaulting LGBQT and/or interracial couples.)
Many of my former colleagues cannot be bothered to even try to have sympathy for the marginalized, the oppressed, the voices forever silenced by the state in racist, sexist, classist government systems that are apparently functioning as intended.
(I’m not saying Biden is the solution, as we’ll have to hold him to his promises, but he’s not naked aggression and brazen fascism either. That’s where we are politically; “He’s kind of a dick too, but at least he’s not an openly bigoted fascist!” I’m depressing myself again and getting way off track.)
I feel tidal swells of empathy for those backed into a corner, left with no recourse but to flee with the clothes on their backs, depending on the kindness of strangers, and it just recently occurred to me that the idiocy of fate could place me in those shoes in just a hilllbilly racist’s heartbeat.
Contemplating all this really fucked me up for a minute. Anyone and everyone alive can be – and are – only two or three bad days away from being without a home of their own; from being without a freaking country of their own.
So yeah, jingoism at the gates, pandemic at the disco and everywhere else, the rising dreadful sensation that no one is coming to our rescue, and what do you get? You get a trauma, and you get a trauma, and wifey gets a trauma, and Barry needs a fuck-ton of hugs just like everybody else. Or something stronger than my normal escape tactics.
Some of my extra-curricular fixations include color-coordinating the towels in the linen closet (Erin loves this one), daily raised-leg pushups (this one too), picking my old scab wounds till they bleed again (Erin’s not too trilled with this one), and tugging at my pandemic beard until I leave bald splotches on my face (Erin hates this one).
I also pulled back from nearly all my social media platforms, except for Medium. During my hiatus from here, I published over 50 unique poems and/or short stories, much of it along the lines of soft erotica. Most of my work is for other Medium publications and is therefore behind a paywall.
I dunno; I haven’t sold-out or anything. In fact, my most lucrative month was in December when I earned nearly nine dollars. I can’t explain it; it just feels good writing there, almost as good as color-coordinating towels, pulling out my beard-hairs and preparing a bug-out bag.
I also write for my friend Tre’s Medium publication, A Cornered Gurl, which is not hidden behind a paywall because Tre has always been awesome like that. That’s just how she rolls.
So, where do we go from here? Am I back now? I have no idea. I’ll try to keep a presence here, as the WordPress community has been very kind to me. But as we know, the only constant in the cosmos is change, and like it or not, change is coming for us all.
I’m trying to be gentle with myself, and I thank you for your continued grace and patience as we continue to find our way through … you know … *gestures haphazardly* … whatever the hell this is, and whatever tomorrow brings.
I’ve never eaten a blueberry. I confess I didn’t follow my grandma’s golden rule; don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. They look vile and undignified; like grapes that didn’t quite grape correctly. But my grandbaby is housing those things like they’re nature’s candy, leaving blue and violet streaks everywhere; a little Rembrandt. Every so often, she offers me one with compelling questions of “Uhn? Uhn?” hanging beneath our sun-streaked skylit afternoon. I politely sing, “No thank you!” which always gets a giggle from her before she crams nature’s mess artlessly into her tiny face. She’s more blueberry than toddler now. Maybe I should try one next time she offers.
sea of blue and green bird chatter and child’s laughter we breathe together ***
Wild Flower, or The Wild One as I like to call her, has been on Medium for four years and ever since she appeared, she has been making waves. A familiar face from my days as Editor of This Glorious Mess, I was incredibly happy to have her contribute to ACornered Gurl as well. She answered the call to “Sound Off” with an audio poem and it is truly incredible. I have been amazed by her growth and transformation into this beast of a writer and I hope I am around long enough to see her continue to evolve.
I won’t dote on her any longer . . . Here’s the piece in question, They Call Me Chaos.
A concession less than you planned is often framed at a glance as better than nothing,
as there is nothing less than nothing.
As in an absence of sound where a voice should be,
a musical measure that halts three beats before the melody,
an expected reply to a query of love that is absent unexpectedly.
Nothing is both beginning and end and it is often neither;
it is nowhere we want to be and everywhere, inevitably;
a closed door left ajar;
no closure, just a far-off view of horizon unchanging.
Nothing is not an answer we expect, but often by not getting it it’s the answer that we get.
Nothing is what she said before leaving after leaving I love you’s scrawled in condensation on our shared mirror before evaporating into nothing.
I know I said that I would be back to writing more frequently, but I wasn’t expecting to become addicted to the Hamilton musical on Disney+
Seriously guys, every waking hour has been spent watching Hamilton, obsessing over Hamilton, breaking down the amazingly dense lyrics to Hamilton, analyzing the musical motifs of Hamilton, watching YouTube videos of others who’ve been analyzing Hamilton, also watching reaction videos of Hamilton, learning the actual history of the real Alexander Hamilton, and well, you get the idea.
Truth be told, the Hamilton Era is the most entertaining of this global pandemic that has exposed my nation as a failed plague-state. It’s way better than the Tiger King Era, and it’s not even close. At-me at your own peril, but I promise, I have the receipts:
Anyway, yes, I’m still alive. Here’s a poem about nothing. Now I gotta get back to watching Hamilton. See you in a week or two.