01 July 2013

The Poem In Which I Bleed

It has been a while since I wrote.

I don't miss it. I don't even feel guilty. I think I'm happier lately than I have been and I'm not writing anything.

I keep going back to this thing my lovely, adoring wife said, "You bleed when you write." I think we were discussing me going back to school to get my PhD and I told her that I probably wasn't writing deeply enough, that I couldn't reach the level of intensity that I usually reach when I'm writing and she remarked , "You bleed when you write."

And I think I've been thinking about that because with what I've been through, I'm tired of making myself bleed for words. I deserve a happier, successful life. How long can the junkie continue his addiction before the thing that makes him feel so alive nearly kills him? How long can an artist bear the pain of creation before all he knows is pain?

To what purpose do I cut myself open and why don't I just stop and start putting love into the world?

And I think that's the answer: I started this blog so that I could ask myself how a writer can view and experience a world that does not reward him for being a writer.

I'm not going to torture myself because I can't write what I think I should be writing, or can't live the way I think I should be living, or can't see what I want to be seeing.

I'm not going to torture myself at all and if it hurts, I'm not going to indulge in that pain. I'm not going to twist and turn it and gnaw on its rusted edges and make my mouth bleed on it anymore.

I'm going to do this life up with my own special breed of quiet, awkward, elegant joy, and if it comes out as a poem then, lucky me. If it comes out of a series of good and noble acts or conversations at dinner or favors I pay forward, then lucky me too.

This life is not meant for suffering, not meant for bleeding out. This life is meant for enrichment, for fleshing out and there is a limit to poetry. And I have reached it. There remains little meaning in the act of writing for me but I am not sad about it.

There is more in the heavens and earth than I've dreamt of in my philosophy. There is more magic to be played. There is more that I can do and that which I do will not be with my words alone on a page.

They will rise, they will be born, they will live as their own and I will smile as a father and as a grandfather and as a great grandfather and my kinsmen are poets and artists and good husbands and great men and sailors and doctors and teachers.

The poem in which I bleed is no longer the poem I write. The poem in which I blossom is the life I write.