Wednesday, January 04, 2006

On Forgetting Poetry

Awake, and alive, with barely four hours of sleep. Still, one does what one must, and a nice cup of coffee always helps to relieve the stress. Yes, little things matter - especially those that make you fatter.

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I haven't written a decent poem in ages. There was a brief period, right after I had submitted my (currently missing) undergraduate thesis, that I managed to scribble a few lines, but nothing much came out of them, and I'm feeling a bit...I don't know, fake towards poetry right now? Not to say that I don't enjoy reading poems - I appreciate a good poem the same way I always have, and gravitate towards those that resonate in particular, but I cannot seem to string words together the same way I used to do, with ease and in comfortable silence. Now I seem to be clunkier, weighed down with more than just flesh and bones, as if a part of me has now been firmly entrenched in the earth and cannot remember how it is to fly.

That was how writing poetry felt like before: like soaring.

Now it feels like treading forgotten waters - everything shifts, is anchored a moment, then flows away. I've forgotten how to capture meaning in light, in reflections. I seem to repeat the same themes over and over again, until they even taste like stale air to me. Nowadays, I am more drawn to prose: the careful building up of drama, the movement, the narration and style, the voices I can play with. I get to put on a mask and prance around the fields, buck naked, and nobody will really recognize that it's me. It's like slipping inside a warm blanket on a cold summer night, watching the stars take flight across the sky.

But even then, writing fiction doesn't compare to the joy of flying. And I miss that. But I'm afraid that I'm slowly forgetting how to stretch my wings, to take that leap into a nothingness, into a void, the unknown landscape of an other. I'm afraid I am quietly rooted to this ground, a small patch of land with a gabled house and flowers by the sill. I look up at the sky, watch a flock of poets glide across the clouds, and wonder what it feels like to ride the wind.

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