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