july 24, 2014

nobody pressed the characters
on their phone the way they
were supposed to today

i am all lonely and washed up
sad like a monday on the west coast

talked about regression at dinner
last night over dumplings
but everyone’s head is an air balloon
everyone’s head is a magnet
(opposing my poles)
everyone’s head is a dumpster
everyone’s head is compost
everyone’s head is a head
ahead of mine

“good vs bad poetry”

Here is an opinion I want to share.

Someone asked me if I was annoyed by all the bad poetry on the internet, since anyone can “publish” anything.  The answer is no.  First of all, I don’t really believe there is such thing as good and bad poetry – I believe poetry is relative.  Secondly, if there is such thing as good and bad poetry, I am in no position to be the judge.  There is nothing technical about my poetry – it is thoughts broken into lines.  I write what resonates with me when it resonates with me.  I imagine everyone else does the same.  I don’t consider whether it is good, I consider whether it is true.

No, I am not able to relate to vast amounts of poetry.

There are a lot of teenage girls on Tumblr (yes, I also have a Tumblr blog with different material) writing poems about heartbreak and emotional holes and broken spirits and I read them and think “you will get through this, you are being overdramatic, you will grow up a bit and boys will grow up a bit and you will know what love is and should be”.  But I remember being a sixteen year old girl and dating a boy named Joel.  I didn’t love him, but I thought I did.  When we broke up I wrote pages of tear soaked poems about the hurt I felt and eventually I felt better.  And, had I been reading poems by other sixteen year old girls experiencing my pain, I would have felt a sense of companionship in sharing hurt with someone and I would have seen different perspectives and felt less alone because being a teenage girl with absent parents and social anxiety makes feeling alone very, very easy.

I don’t really like erotic poetry, because there’s something about the secrecy of sex that is important to me.  Sure, I can write a poem and reference sex or the significance of a kiss or something meaningful whispered during, but the play by play is not something I make public because, for me, secrecy is intimacy.  But that’s not to say that writing and sharing a descriptive poem about sex does the same for everyone, because I completely understand capturing a moment in time with vivid language.  And I’m sure there are a large number of people who benefit from the imagery of physical touch and pleasure.

And I don’t much like political poems, because I would rather read an article with hard facts and dates and names.  The world is saturated with political opinions, which is a wonderful thing, but I read poetry for relaxation and enjoyment and rarely do I enjoy the heated rage that often accompanies political thought.  BUT THAT HEATED RAGE IS TOTALLY NECESSARY TO IMPROVE THE WORLD AND GOOD ON YOU FOR HAVING THOSE OPINIONS AND EXPRESSING THEM IN WHATEVER WAY YOU CAN.  I have strong opinions on a lot of worldly matters as well and I’m not here to tell you what outlets you get to use to share them.

And no, I don’t really want to read rhyming poetry about the thoughts of your dog, but there are people who are probably more fun than I am and they want to write silly poems from the perspective of bumble bees and tree frogs and air balloons.  Who the hell am I to say a poem is bad because it isn’t serious?  Really, good for you for letting loose and enjoying the small things.  I’m not going to rain on your parade.

So, basically, I guess I’m saying that I wish the question would have been “what sort of poetry do you relate to?”.  Because that is a question I can answer without seeming like a pretentious asshole.

And, since I’ve already written this entire rant and, if you’ve made it this far, you must be at least mildly curious, I will tell you.

I like poems that are insightful, but simple – language that is intelligent, but not showy.  I like poems that include specific, insignificant details about people and cities and conversations.  I like poems that either don’t have a theme or offer a theme gently.  I like poems that give a lot of facts.  I like poems that apply importance to small moments that would be forgotten were they not documented.  I like poems that talk about simple human behaviour.  Most importantly, I like poetry that is personal, but not emotionally saturated – I like to know how you feel, I like to know why you feel that way, I like to know what you look like when you feel it and what phase the moon is in and how messy your bedroom is, etc. etc.

Okay, thank you, good bye.

july 22, 2014

dead pigeon on the sidewalk
perfectly intact, save
hollow insides and flies
where the eyes were

live raven on a tree branch
perfectly intact –
i tell her to appreciate her organs
and enjoy her sight

july 19, 2014

i’m drunk so i sit under the stars
and think oh fuck, we’re small
and then oh fuck, we’re dying

the panic doesn’t come
like it usually does when i confront
my limited time in this limited space

love doesn’t feel like a waste of time
in our backyard with the two dogs,
kissing under this supercilious celestial spread

the next day you ask me why
you love me so much and
i want to tell you it’s because
you’re inclined to hold me when
you look up at the evening sky

we make a good pair
in our moonlit insignificance

july 16, 2014

it is quite literally raining ashes
in southwestern canada this afternoon
and i’ve never put much thought into
trees having vengeance before, but
this is the ghost of a forest, come
to suffocate us all, come
to dilute the sky, come
to say goodbye

maybe if i could explain
how the ocean tangled
up into the sand and 
the berries bled out
in the midday sun and
the world felt like an
ashtray under the cherry
of the sun’s cigarette
on the day i thought
most about dying,
you would know
that love is
which fares
you and i
quite well

july 15, 2014

wreak havoc on wildflowers

the sun lives on in evening air,
strangling any ambition
i might stumble upon,
even in its absence

my actions all have intentions

the moon wanes overhead and
i know just what that means
for me

july 6, 2014

there’s no need to
tell me to fuck off
when i’m already
halfway out the door

20 km too fast
all the way to the legislature
where i can drink it off
in gardens and good company

tonight i know i have no business
being behind the wheel of this car

tonight i know we can both
get drunk and stay miserable