Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stuck in Neutral

Anyone who is a writer (by nature, not by occupation, or hell, both) knows what it's like to have The Urge (which sounds vaguely naughty or disturbing, either really) - to write but not the subject matter, per se.

Back in the Glory Days (they'll pass you by) I used to, on occasion, connect so forcefully with my Muse that I'd end up trying to write something faster than my hand could move, like I was channeling some sort of crazy poetic mojo, and I'd usually end up rather impressed with whatever had come out of that moment. First off, I wrote on paper because I was/am a purist. I wrote POETRY. (Scads and scads of BAD poetry too, Friends.) Why poetry, you ask? (Although frankly I've mentioned it - and mocked myself - before, so since you're only asking now, it's really like you're not paying attention and you should start listening and stop fiddling with your stack of bills because no one cares if your Verizon bill is late ANYWAY.)

Poetry is for moody women who have PMS, are slightly insane, and who don't have the attention span, patience, or plot ability to write novels. Are we all clear on that?

The problem? I just wasn't angsty ENOUGH. I know. I'm actually sort of lazy about my tortured artist thing. I would kick out some cool imagery, break off a little word play, feel better, drink a Sprite Zero and call my biff to see if she wanted to go shopping. Or clubbing. Not exactly Sylvia Plath all up on a mofo. Then, if the mood struck me, I'd use said poem for some random assignment in Bitchy Women's Free Verse 412, get a decent review, mentally eye-roll at the SERIOUS EMO POETRY chick(s) (because there was always at least one) and then get out of class in time to go home and finish up the Buffy episode or hit the gym.

My personal purgatory? The Circle of Shared Poetry. ::shudder:: We'd all sit (you guessed it) in a circle, and read each other's poems. The worst part? During the Seriously Retarded Interpretation of your poem, you couldn't respond. At all. You had to sit and listen to some (we'll just say)(hypothetically) frothy little Greek sister who'd accidentally signed up for the Wrong Class interpret your poem and not. say. anything.

True story. My assignment had been to write a Petrarchan Sonnet. That is, and I quote, (because I TOTALLY would never remember such a thing deliberately):The Petrarchan Sonnet consists of 14-lines that are divided into two parts, the first consisting of eight lines (octave) with the rhyme scheme: abbaabba, and the second part consisting of six lines (sestet) with the rhyme scheme: cdecde (though there are variations, including: cdcdcd). The most important requisite for the Petrarchan Sonnet is the absence of the closing couplet. Got it? Yeahhhh.

Aaaaanyway, I had a fight with my then-boyfriend and cranked out said sonnet, using some Heavy Dark Imagery. It rhymed (not my thing) stuck to the aforementioned couplets and lines, etc etc (banging head on desk) and I turned it in, not realizing it would be examined during the Circle of Idiotic Interpretation.

A girl (who wrote some *amazingly* bad stuff) raised her hand during the Exposition of Sammo's Awesome Sonnet.

"Ummmm, I think it's about slaves picking cotton."

I immediately started to splutter and laugh and get a wee apoplectic on a homie.

What. the. hell.

See, people SAY that there are no "wrong" interpretations. Well, yeah, there ARE. I could read the hallowed Sylvia Plath's immortalized poem "Daddy" and be all, "I think she really likes vampires. Because she uses talks about a stake through someone's heart." And you know what? I'd be WRONG. At the end of the day, poems are not THAT deep, nor open to THAT much interpretation. You want to just make stuff up, go look at some modern art of a splatter painting and talk about how the artist is making a statement about his ire for the government of Botswana, and the color yellow represents hope, okay?

The girl went on about how she thought a word I used represented the cotton and the other words could be a plantation and....and....

Yeah. I talked. I got "shushed" by the instructor, but seriously. It was about a dumb fight with my dumb ex-boyfriend and I'd totally procrastinated the assignment and SLAVERY (WTF yo), the civil rights movement, Gone with the Wind: none of these things were involved.

There are days it's hard to believe I made it through that particular unmentioned level of Dante's Inferno.

And while I would LOVE to share that poem with you, it's lost in the sands of time, or in a folder in a box in my basement, you pick. I remember how it started though, (and if you steal, you'll get bad karma for at LEAST three years): So here, so much is left to lie/ our evening spent with splayed disaster/ you, so blurred, and slipping faster, swallowed up like apple pie./ Slow legs in web, still you the fly/ Eternally damning myself as master/ My slick grip slipping even faster/ over sheepskin sanity, I/...(don't remember much else)(I'm not even sure when the alleged cotton imagery was added....)

I know. Right now, you're weeping silently for my talent and golf-clapping at the screen. Brava! Seriously, I have no clue where that drivel brilliance comes from.

And that, Friends, is what a 20+ grand degree gets ya! Don't all get in line to register for my degree program or anything...

But that's not the point. The point is, I'm lazy. I want to write but I know not WHAT. I would LOVE (I mean that) LOVE to write creatively, and not just whatever crappola I spout here. But I have CHILDREN. With needs. Right now? They need a bath and to get the hell out of the bathroom sink.

Sylvia Plath *did* have children. She also had depression/bipolar disorder and stuck her head in an oven.

I'm not saying the two are related....then again.....

So I'm idling here. I need to get in gear and hit the accelerator. (I also need to stop distracting myself with car analogies and picturing sitting in a cute silver Audi TT.)

To the Muse, friends, to the Muse.

Comments, questions, inspiration?