Once you fucked it, it's yours

Before I start on the topic, a short note. Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature today. The press statement lauded him for "uncover[ing] the precipice under everyday prattle and forc[ing] entry into oppression's closed rooms,". The precipice under everyday prattle...gotta love it. I have actually never read or seen anything by Mr. Pinter, but I'm sure he'll be impossible to avoid in the next month or so.


Lani invited me along to a "Salon de mots" tonight. We had no clue as to what it was exactly, imagines slam poetry and whatnot, but after Spongebob Mac 'n Cheese and soesjes we biked towards the small café "De Leugen" (the Lie).

It was small, cramped, but the atmosphere was interesting, with people ranging in age from twenty to sixty. We met up with Anita, a friend of Lani's who apparently liked my blog (which means she múst be a fantastic person, dontcha think?) and the show began with a bang, or rather, with a guy playing some weird kind of, well, I believe the term is "mouth harp". Cute, too. And more importantly, he could sing. Very well even. It turns out he's the singer of the band Dial Prisko, a name I'll definitely remember. Even more so because apart from the mouth harp, he also played...the tea pot.

I won't give a list of all the poets and what I thought of them, because I find that on poetry nights all the words blend together anyhow, no matter how different the styles and the subject matter. Unfortunately, most of it was in Dutch, and for some reason, Dutch poetry doesn't get to me like English poetry can. The main poem went on for too long, getting interesting only near the end, and there was only one Dutch poem with rythm to it, with metre and flow.

The lone English poem was by an Australian woman, Prue Duggan. It was interesting, especially her vision of Anna Karenina, but I wasn't entirely convinced. Maybe it's because someone once told me that in truly great poetry, every word should feel irreplacable, like it's the one and only possible word in that particular place, and I did not get that idea from her poems. However, her poems were the most interesting to me of the entire night, and the title of this post is the closing line to one of her poems.

Far be it from me to say that writing poetry is easy. I had a poetry period in my first year at UC, and I got very frustrated with it because my poetry simply wasn't good. Poetry, good poetry? It's freaking hard.

I've been getting back into poetry, as you've maybe noticed from me mentioning Dylan Thomas records and leaving the text of an entire Kings of Convenience song here, but this (together with the poetry committee meeting yesterday) really kicked me back into. Biking back, words came rushing over me like they haven't in years, not enough yet to start letting them out, but enough to raise the hope that I might actually produce something again.

I looked through my old poems again tonight. Some made me cringe, most did, to be honest. But some...Oh, they're not good poems, but some that I forgot I wrote surprised me by not being as bad as I remembered my writing being.

In a way, reading back is like digging into my own past, worming myself into the mind of who I was two years ago. Scary, maybe even more so than reading old blogs. It's strange. It's me, I can remember me then, remember feeling and thinking the same but then, it's not really me any more. I can pinpoint exactly between which poems I got together with Joren, in between which poems we broke up...And yet, I don't remember it feeling very intense or important at all.
If I do start writing poetry again, I'll probably create a special blog for it, but until then, I just thought I'd leave you with this poem, written a year and a half ago...I don't think it's particularly good, even for me, but I think it gived a good impression of what I used to write.

Ticking Away

A bomb warning at the station:
in the train I think of ominous
ticking under my seat, imagine
a small round black warmth pulsing.

In my last split second
I’d wonder at how
when the sun shines
the world seems to unfold.

It will freeze tonight,
as the cold fragments
which once were me
will be sniffed at by
lonely patched dogs

Maybe I’d reincarnate
a tall elegant tower with three white wings.
And then another girl with morbid fantasies
would see me through the wagon window,
and smile, because not everything is rotten,
while her life slowly ticked away.

Over and Out.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what is so bad about that poem?
I was expecting something much worse. It is actually pretty good and I like your rreturn to the train at the end.

Chris Crawford