Smitten Into Cliche

I took some time away to write some new pieces and to just be away from the computer for a bit. I’m posting today and finally after like two years I’m taking a (very short) and much needed mini road trip vacation, which always bring new thoughts and poems! I’m very excited. I wrote the poem I’m putting up today one morning when I was just feeling like a crappy writer. There are so many incredible writers out there. I probably had been reading too many great poems and feeling crappy. Comparison can be such a killer. I was reading all sorts of pieces and some were so sophisticated it seemed and others were so political. I always have fallen into neither area really. My idea of the poem is not give the reader an autobiographical moment or to take a moment and just extend it into nice language. I think the poem takes something a thought, a phrase, a feeling, an object, a story, and transforms it. I also love playing with feelings that are not always the first to come to mind (jealousy, suspicion, etc.) I like to juggle feelings with sounds and images that don’t feel like they would go together and make them play off each other. To me, that is the delight of poetry; the act of juggling so many things. I find in the art world, there’s so much critique and emphasis on ‘being different or unique.’ Don’t get me wrong, I love that. I also find there are times when an artist/writer/poet/songwriter tries so hard to go in that direction, that they lose the beat or rhythm of the song. The writer tries to use such unique language, it sounds like a dictionary. I’m sure I’ve done it. The political poem that feels like you are being force fed a belief. Anyway, when I wrote this poem, I was mixed. I was wanting to be doing something really different and distinct and when I did it did not feel like me. My voice was gone from it. I remember starting to write this poem as a way to kind of get the negative out of my head and move on. In some ways, it became a commentary on the fact that I don’t always hate cliche. I sometimes like simple words. Sometimes the most personal poem feels political. It sort of reminded me that if I was going to write, I was going to do it because I enjoyed it. The second the joy faded and I was doing it to impress someone, I was doing it for the wrong reasons. So, as I’m resetting my buttons a bit here, here’s a poem about reminding myself that it’s the joy of doing the act that makes the writer.

Poor Poet

Perhaps I am the soft poet or no poet at all?
All romanced by streetlamp, candlelights, soft palms
Find me, when there is genocide, sidewalk shootings,
And the atmosphere, I so like to swoon over,
Threatened by ruin.

I love flower lovers arriving like salmon to cold rivers,
Holding flowers for someone they can now recognize as home, their
Heartbeat flows through them
Like the trombone’s looooooooooong breath.
I love when mouths merge to soothe the biggest bodily aches.

Yes, I love umbrellas for covering hearts left out in the cold rain.
Photographs of empty beaches, no language,
Only what’s left of the negatives in your soul that tell
You what you’re heart wanted when it focused on
Capturing such a silent, simple thing.

I love how seldom we speak with words.
The smile as we pass, the racing
Of a heart as you smile back. The doorbell
That invites someone in, every hug & kiss
From lips to thighs, to love and sin.

I believe in writing about nothing.
The unselfconsciousness silence of animals,
The wind, sand, water, ice, weather,
That make elements part of time.
It is not easy to be us. This human thing.
Restless nights, love struggles, knowing when & where & what to fight for!
Some mornings I can’t dress poems up in pretty words and letters

Because underneath pretty, complicated lines
Is the simple of me, the new season starting,
The moonlight reflecting off the ocean,
The worn out spine of book that will make you laugh and cry.
The bad poems, the cliches of beauty, that are not hard to look around and see.

I like to believe, however lost we are together in this world,
All maps lead to one place,
The human heart, so I might not be the best writer
But you’ll never doubt where to find me
When you need a sweater in winter or a cool glass of lemonade on the hottest summer day.

I might be a bad poet for flirting with cliche,
But doesn’t it feel that way every time you love
The sound of someone breathing, when
The world is out of currency and love and nature is what’s left?
In times like that, this stupid poem might feel like politics or whatever it is that great poets know best.

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