Insufferable Homeostasis, or, Why I Don’t Write Poetry

I don’t write poetry much anymore.

Mostly because 99% of people roll their eyes at poetry, no matter how good it is.

And I hate having people roll their eyes at me, talking behind their hands about how pretentious I am. I have entire collections of poetry I forced on people, and they politely smiled and oooh and aaah, then laughed when I turned my back, whispering about how weird I am, how pathetic I am, what a loser I am.

After more than twenty years of this, it occurs to me that the common denominator is me. If this is how I feel, if this is the reaction I feel I get, then it is likely me that is the problem. Me personally — or just me trying to ingratiate myself with the wrong people. You’d think I’d learn my place after more than 20 years, but I don’t. I maintain this insufferable homeostasis, staring into nothingness, knowing what I should be doing, but instead, like I dog returning to vomit, I just keep doing the same thing over and over again. Einstein said that’s the definition of madness — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Should I own my madness?

I am a dilettante because of everything else that I am lacking — I am so ugly, so hollow, so I try my hand at everything, hoping to find something that will make you be able to stand the sight of me. I may not be a decent human being, but LOOK, I can write horrible poetry! I am socially awkward but LOOK, I can play guitar! I am depressed, prone to anger, and a general drag to be around, but LOOK, I can write stories!

But people don’t like poetry, and I’m not playing the songs they want to hear, or telling the stories they want to read.

Einstein said that everyone has their particular area of genius. That if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, then of course it’s going to feel like an idiot. That’s a nice thought, but I’ve come to learn that I am not a beautiful or unique snowflake. I’m the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

So I don’t write poetry. Because people who write poetry are weird, right? Mentally and/or emotionally unstable. Either bleeding out fancy words so full of emotion as to be nearly embarrassing — like streaking or picking your nose in public — or else it’s so artistic that it’s never going to appeal to anyone other than other artists. And that would make me a snob, wouldn’t it? Writing over the heads of the great unwashed masses?

So I can’t win. I’m frozen in this insufferable homeostasis. I am who I am, and who I am is not very likable.

Pretentious.

Snob.

Judgmental.

Loser.

Dilettante.

That’s five-hundred words, exactly. That’s not too much is it?

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11 responses to “Insufferable Homeostasis, or, Why I Don’t Write Poetry

  1. poetry writes out the hurt. I suppose others might be offended when I fart, but I still do it 🙂 – of course silent ones are best…. Some things just happen.

  2. I am so not going to like this, because I love your poetry, and more so, I love when you read it, I love when I can listen to it.
    I don;t think anyone likes my poetry, they are either disgusted at my madness or scared of it, and that happens to me to. There is poets out there that I adore and dread to read, equally, because of what they make me want to do or become or think about.
    Not reading poetry, as someone who generally speaking loves reading, I see as a defencive barrier. For better or for worse, I will always keep writing poetry and I will keep re-reading yours, because this decaying organic matter wants to decay organicaly, and burning 🙂

  3. Um, yeah, sounds like you’re in a good mood…

    We don’t write poetry for others, we write it for ourselves. If someone doesn’t like it, it’s their problem. Sure, it’s great when someone likes what we write, draw, play or whatever, but are you really doing it for THEM? I know – there’s little that feels worse than putting up something I’ve put my heart into only to hear crickets after I’ve posted. But the sting goes away. Eventually.

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, I am one who likes your words enough to read your blog when I can.

  4. I love poetry! I wish it would make a comeback. Or was it ever in? Who cares? I can’t write it but I love it. Don’t be so hard on yourself. March to the beat of your own haiku.

  5. Fuck it. Who cares? Poetry is my lifeline and saving grace. Reading it, writing it, is how I survive. I don’t give a damn who likes it or not because its who I am, and there are plenty of people who do like what I write. Whether it’s madness or not, whether it makes me weird, or whether it’s crap or good, I will continue to write it. And what I’ve read of your writing, and your poetry so far, well…I think you know how I feel about it. Besides, we’re all a little mad here. Why is a raven like a writing desk?

  6. The world needs poets . . . Writer’s must write whatever words wriggle and writhe their way to the surface of their soul. It doesn’t matter if ten thousand readers or none care for the words penned to a page, it only matters that they were written.

    I don’t care much about whether or not people like my poetry, sometimes I don’t like it much myself, but I will always set it free. Poetry is a subjective art; an acquired taste, and some people can’t tell a masterpiece from a scribble or a fine wine from soured grape juice.

    The ones who can, appreciate it and the ones who can’t are surely missing out 🙂

  7. I agree with many who have come before me. You should write whatever you feel like writing, whenever you feel like writing it. Not everyone has to love it. But you should.

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