NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 16 + Poems in April 2019 Day 16 & 5: Poetry As the Place Where the Spirit Within Hemorrhages Truth

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

You return whenever I write poetry
Troublesome little ghost
Not sugar and spice and everything nice
You mournful, shadowed thing

Troublesome little ghost
Your nights filled with wanting and regret
You mournful, shadow thing
Needing to bleed out your words

Your nights filled with wanting and regret
I allow you to emerge from my cold shell
Needing to bleed out your words
"The poem is the way," I say

I allow you to emerge from my cold shell
Offering truth a way to be set free
"The poem is the way," I say
You need not put on false airs with poetry

Offering truth a way to be set free
Poetry, I think, is ultimate honesty
You need not put on false airs with poetry
Or so it is that I have always believed

Poetry, I think, is ultimate honestly
You need not pretend to be aught but what you are
Or so it is that I have always believed
But there are those who disagree on poetry

You need not pretend to be aught but what you are
You need not present as light when you are shadow
But there are those who disagree on poetry
Poetry, they say, is the domain of sugar and spice

You need not present as light when you are shadow
Sad little ghost, pay no mind to the Poetry Police
Poetry, they say, is the domain of sugar and spice
Bleed your truth as freely as you need

Sad little ghost, pay no mind to the Poetry Police
You mournful, shadowed thing
Poetry, they say, is the domain of sugar and spice
You return whenever I write poetry

~Cie~



Notes:
The poetic form is Pantoum. Fortunately, a Pantoum need not rhyme.
The Poems in April prompt #16 was to create a poem with a title starting with "Poetry As..."
The Poems in April prompt #5 was to describe a supernatural creature who is a troublesome housemate. I can think of no more troublesome a housemate than the child I once was who each day laments that the big dreams she had for her life slip further and further away from her grasp, fading into the impossible.
I think the NaPoWriMo prompt ended up eating the dust of the other two prompts.
A couple of years ago when I was doing OctPoWriMo, I almost ended up ceasing participation in poetry blog hops for good when I allowed the troubled spirit who will always be a part of me to express itself and was admonished that my poetry was "catharsis" and I would one day become "a beacon of light in the world" or some such thing.
To me, these well-meaning but inaccurate statements showed two things.
First, that people who are not happy by nature are unacceptable as they are and must become, or at least pretend to be, the sort of person who is "a light in the world." 
Second, that dark poetry (and depressive people) are not as valid or worthwhile as happy, well-adjusted people writing poems about the joys of life and how grateful they are to live under the rule of a benevolent deity in a happy and joyful world where there are no Debbie Downers or Negative Neds messing things up with their dark ickiness.
To me, poetry must remain the domain where you can TELL IT LIKE IT IS, not like other people think it's supposed to be.
Poetry must remain the place where one can hemorrhage one's soul all over the damn place and not have people constantly trying to slap smiley bandages on their spiritual wounds.
Poetry must be allowed to be dark and filled with pain.
During the final years of my nursing career, a statement had been popularized that "PAIN IS WHATEVER THE PATIENT SAYS IT IS." 
I greatly advocate for this belief. It is so much more helpful than awful epithets such as "drug-seeking behavior," which had previously been the dismissive go-to whenever a patient requested pain medication earlier than it was scheduled. 
People who experience high levels of chronic pain do not respond to pain medications the way people who do not experience chronic pain (or who experience chronic pain of lesser degrees) respond to pain medication. A person with high levels of chronic pain could ingest enough pain medication to knock out a large horse and be perfectly coherent, and I'm only being slightly hyperbolic.
FYI, low-grade chronic pain (such as I have) isn't a walk in the park either. I'm tired all the time and have a tendency to experience brain fog and disturbed sleep. My pain levels aren't such that I require narcotics, but NSAIDS don't really help. 
I experienced intense chronic pain for about six weeks when I initially injured the median nerve in my left arm. I couldn't sit up for more than about 45 minutes before I had to lie on the arm to try and numb it. Intense chronic pain is no joke, and anyone who says things like "people need to just push through the pain" or fail to understand why people become so desperate for relief that they obtain medications through illegal channels because the medications they've been prescribed legally aren't cutting the mustard need to get off their high horse. 
At this point, my left arm constantly tingles. I've gotten enough sensation back in my left hand that it no longer feels like a lump of clay, but I was damn grateful for "lump of clay" as opposed to constant searing pain up and down the arm. Physical therapy saved my life, literally. I would need more P.T. to get rid of the constant numbness and tingling, but Medicaid will only pay for 12 sessions per injury. Better than nothing, but ridiculous to put a limitation on the sort of thing which doesn't tend to behave in a predictable fashion.
In any case, just as pain is whatever the patient says it is, POETRY IS WHATEVER THE POET SAYS IT IS.
My poetry need not be "catharsis." It need not lead to me becoming "a beacon of light in the world" to be absolutely 100% valid. The wounded inner self is allowed to express its truth without expectation of transformation.
People with depressive personalities are valid as they are. They need not be drugged into compliance. For some of us, the drugs don't work anyway, or they make things worse. Drugs are not the answer to everything.
I don't need to be like you. 
I am valid just as I am.
Apologies for jumping on ye olde soapbox, but some things cannot be said enough.







No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated for two reasons. One, to let us know we have a new comment, and two, to weed out the dead wood. If you are a spammer or a troll, you are hereby cordially invited to drink a hot steaming cup of STFU and board the next rocket ship bound for the center of the sun.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Closing Comments on This Blog

At this point, this blog is only a place for sharing links, and the only comments I've been getting are comments like the following fro...