Stage fright

My plan for tonight’s post, since I rode my bike all morning and worked all afternoon/evening, was just to follow up on last night, and post more college poetry.

Then I started flipping through my books and thinking I sounded both naive and pretentious, somehow, at the same time.  Apparently, tonight, I am not the great writer I was last night.  And it’s kind of embarrassing to have to cop to the feelings and experiences and friendships and fuck buddies I had while in college, now that I am so much older and wiser (ha!).

But I really have nothing else to say, and so little time not to say it.  I still haven’t come up with a Lenten sacrifice; though Doug suggested I could give up soda with him, that would only be a mild inconvenience for me, so I feel like it’s cheating – I can never find the perfect thing.  I dug out my sterling silver cross this afternoon, polished it, and put it on for the first time in, oh, years.  I figure wearing a cross is as good a thing to do for the next 40 days as any, though I admit that, today, I kept the cross under my shirt and continued to let my healing hand necklace have all the glory.

If I had to put it into words, I see it like this: I’ve been wearing the same healing symbol around my neck for over seven months now, and healing has happened.  Maybe if I also wear a religious symbol around my neck, God-sent miracles will happen as well.  Or, if not miracles on His part, maybe faith and trust on mine.

I also want to write poetry, but am not sure if Lent is the time to do it – and I’m not sure whether I can take on another big project right now.  Also, I feel so unpoetic.  There’s not enough angst in my life, or the angst is different than it was a decade ago, and doesn’t lend itself as well to pretty words and clever rhymes.

Maybe I need a class, or at least writing prompts.

I had an unexplained falling out with my favorite teacher/advisor the week before I graduated.  She told me that sometimes I say hurtful things and don’t even know they’re hurtful, then wouldn’t tell me what I’d said or whom I’d hurt.  I left her office crying, with only my friend’s three-year-old daughter, whom I was watching while my friend was taking a final, to comfort me.

Maybe my teacher ends her relationships with all her favorite students that way, like how we become nearly impossible in our teenage years, to make the inevitable separation from our parents that much easier.  Maybe it’s a defense mechanism.

I’m totally off on a tangent now.  This post had no forethought and has been pretty much a stream-of-consciousness from the get-go.  I’m exhausted, that’s why.

To recap:

I still don’t know what I’m doing for Lent, besides wearing a cross.  I want to write poetry but wish I had my college advisor to give me wacky prompts and assign forms.  I am too embarrassed to post my old poetry here, but kind of feel like I should, after making such a big deal out of the idea last night.

So because of that, and because the subject matter is appropriate, here is my very first poem from my very first college poetry class:

I swear I’ll sit and write today
This is my solemn vow
And if I had all things my way
Forever would allow

I’d give myself abundant space
I’d find myself the time
My mind would be in the right place
I’d make the perfect rhymes

I’d write it all just as I planned
Express all joy and sorrow
Now with my notebook in my hand
I think I’ll write tomorrow

(Jan. 16, 2001)

I swear I got better later in my college career – and this is better already than what came before it.  (I have some poems from high school in my notebooks, too, and they are truly ridiculous.)

But since my head isn’t on straight tonight, let me ask you, friends and friendly readers: Where should I go with this?  More poetry?  Less poetry?  New poetry?  No poetry?  Any requests for subject matter, or (Robyn, if you’re reading this) forms?

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10 Responses to Stage fright

  1. mommyodyssey says:

    New poetry. Once a week. Say – every monday ask us to post ideas for prompts in the comments, and then publish a poem on sunday. That gives you a whole week. And that means you post stuff you’re unhappy with too. It’s a perfect way to get the juices flowing and leave the judgement out of it, because you know the people who read this are a friendly audience.
    And BTW – the poem you posted made me laugh. Methinks that makes it not half bad. 🙂

    • Elphaba says:

      Mo has a good idea.

      Although I will admit that poetry has always been kind of lost on me….

    • Melissa says:

      I also agree mommyodyssey-new poetry. There are no real rules with poetry, you can write about anything you want, however you want. You could write poem about your healing necklace if you wanted to, or the way the road smelled when you went on your bike ride. Just write, it will come =)

  2. Liana says:

    I’d like to up the ante.

    Hi, I don’t think I’ve commented here yet, but I’ve been reading your blog for several weeks and really enjoy it. You are an excellent storyteller.

    So, for Lent, I suggest you take on the task of writing a poem a day. Not the traditional sacrifice, but something that will enrich your life all the same. Haiku, sonnets, rhymes, free form, whatever. Just jot down a few lines on subjects big or small every day. By the time Easter rolls around, I bet you’ll be right where you want to be with it. Begin with eight lines about beginings. Why eight? Because that’s the number that popped into my head. Really begin however feels right to you.

  3. Stacy says:

    Oh Poetry in Forms! I loved the class. I wrote some of the work I’m proudest of, as well as the most awful shit ever, in that class.

    PS: I really hope the teacher fallout wasn’t with Robyn.

  4. bodegabliss says:

    Oooo, I like Liana’s idea. You did say you can’t take on a new project right now, so that might not be the best idea unfortunately. If you can squeeze it in, I think it’s brilliant. But if you can’t, Mo’s idea is great, too! I bet you’ll see once you start writing, even if they’re awful, it will definitely get the poetry juices flowing. That’s how I feel about writing in general. You’re just out of practice!

  5. Nicole says:

    I think that poetry is a great way to express yourself. I say more! I can give you some crazy prompts if you like….. And I promise not to make you cry 🙂

  6. Kira says:

    Loving the poetry 🙂

    I too love the Lenten season. I like all the church holidays really, the tradition, history, meaning behind them all. For me for Lent I embarked on a Paleo challenge, to change my eating habits and try to be healthier. My hubby gave up energy drinks. Go with your gut. Wearing a cross and being mindful of faith is a bigger step then a lot of people think.

  7. Dani says:

    Maybe she never got over us inviting ourselves over for advising (or was it independent study?) when her kids were sick (your idea btw!). I bet she’d love to hear from you and would be excited about your blog…John too since it’s essentially an extension of his Diaries class.
    Here’s a prompt: One line from a college poetry class (not sure if you were in it too) was “an old man threw himself up”. Ready, go’

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