New Original Poem Read by RTB
So, about why I’ve been away: Guys, can we all agree this is probably the shittiest month of the year? I know, at least for me, it has been. So far, my car needed two tires earlier this month and decided to top that shit show off Tuesday by immobilizing in a pizza place’s parking lot, miles away from home. And I wasn’t even picking up a delivery this time. I don’t yet know what’s wrong but I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be able to turn the steering wheel a full 360 degrees.
Besides the fact that I really do use my car for work and rent and repairs ain’t free (Fry, at least, had a spaceship), my other job got a little ornery about me taking time to deal with it.
Incidentally, taking this time is also why I didn’t have enough to post a new SPU Poetry contest, though it still would’ve been late, well, because: Before then, my laptop charger broke followed pointlessly by my favourite belt buckle. I’ve also spilled more drinks on shit this month than any other time YTD. But worst of all, by far, I somehow managed to delete a final first draft of a poem I had taken three days to write.
That’s right, this poem--whose name I will not type. The poem inspired by The Little Lightning Bug from my book, The Colour Grey (click for post). My starting point for this poem, though, was borrowed from concept of taboo deformations like the word “dagnabbit.” I then sprinkled in some references to a handful of my many current gay friends and went all crazy with that ‘OH’ sound I love so much about the word glow (again, see other post XD).
I also remembered a resource on the so-called language of flowers, involving the Victorian practise of sending messages through different bouquets. After hearing about and searching floriology and bookmarking this years ago (Hey--what can I say?--I like flowers) I only recently learned more about their project. Ironically, I had no idea the site had donated 70% of their profits (from what, I’m not sure… I see no ads but a lot of ™ … hopefully I don’t get sued) to fund autism research. They also inspired a novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, also called The Language of Flowers which has mixed, but mostly positive reviews as far as I can tell. Also which, apparently, I really need to read as someone who communicates best through flowery language learned largely from David Attenborough documentaries.
After three days of researching linguistics, specifically phonetics, the language of flowers, writing and editing word by word, my masterpiece was complete. Whether it was truly great or not, we’ll only know as far as about 60% of it is concerned. That’s about as much of it as I could force my puny brain to remember after staring at that blank file for hours. I know 60% may sound like a lot, but missing the other near-half of it meant I would never have the same poem again. And, for the record, perhaps as a consequence of the energy I expend on writing all my poetry, I regularly feel like whichever I’ve written most recently is the best poem I, at least, have ever written. And this was no exception.
Distraught doesn’t begin describe the feeling of dream-crushing depression that slowly began to tickle my spine. How could I possibly move onto some other new poem when I didn’t even have my best-work-ever to judge it against? Would I spend the rest of my writing life trying to replicate the exact feelings I had when writing it and never even come close? These plus a whole host of, frankly, a lot worse thoughts plagued my mind until, consumed by it all, I had no choice but to do the only thing I could: try again.
But don’t get it twisted, I was trying mainly so I wouldn’t have anything more to bitch about later. I fully expected to have forgotten everything (far from uncommon for my lovely brain) and to be able to say, “welp, at least I tried,” all the while resenting myself for my long-standing, asd-related issues with memory. What I will say though, is if I hadn’t been able to recall what I have since, I would have, for one of the first times of “crisis” like this for me since learning about asd, still been slightly more than okay. To me, this is a gargantuan win. And also a good reason to help support asd research in my community (see my other post on why things like this could have been particularly beneficial to me).
Three more days of re-research and writing culminated in the new, final first draft of this poem, read exclusively on dlive. I wanted to read it because it’s honestly a little bit weird and imperfect, just as I suspect my live reading will be. It is also one of the few, more recent poems narrated by such a close representation of my own voice. And it’s not quite finished yet, but I wanted to get it out into the aether before National Autism Awareness Month here in the States was over.
Moreover, I can’t say I’m not pleased by the wholly new poem that sprung out of this (surmountable) disaster.
The fact that one particular, pretty direct reference to ongoing struggles with depression and whatnot was totally absent from the original, is reason enough for me to be. For fans of T.S. Eliot (or James Monroe Whitfield, for that matter), please just know I am feeling much better now. The same way I avoided flinging my laptop when seeing every word deleted, I’ve, long ago now, learned better of taking things out on the messenger. I hope you feel similarly about me.
The Colour Grey available here as ePub, in paperback, or from Amazon here as an ebook. For a FREE pdf copy and to help me raise $1,500 to help fund asd related research in my community, please consider donating any amount to this gofundme (all donations go directly to the center).
The rest of The Colour Grey So Far: The Serpent ~ The Cant Upon My Mind & Cant ~ Disabled--which needs a new title ~ Laughter ~ Blashphemy ~ Flies ~ Little Lightning Bug
My live stream is at DLive