When someone told someone else today that I am a poet, I laughed, because I had quite forgotten. Lost verses came back to me, much worse for wear, but still there in traces. They asked me why I don’t write these days…well, I said, poets are mystics, they dwell in sad love. I’m done being sad, yeah, life is tough.
And then I bit my lip, for like any old habit, it resurfaces at the oddest of moments. I used to rhyme once, for a living, and now I realize there are some things that linger in your bloodstream long after you think you’ve killed them. You’ll find an odd piece of paper with four lines in your handwriting- I don’t remember writing that,feeling that, living that, you think.
Memory, they say, is treacherous, you don’t remember the bad days as much as the good ones, you turn the not so good moments into not bad. Why treacherous, I ask? Maybe it is the insight of reflection. But then again, if I always reflected, I’d never be a poet. I’d never compare my heart’s dull beat to the clock ticking on my mantelpiece. It’d be lub-dup, ninth grade biology, straight as that. I’d never describe someone’s scent as the fragrance of dry winter mornings, or the prickliness of pine in someone else’s grip on my arm. I’d not write about the hollowed eyes of the beggar girl on the street, I’d just be yet another individual disgusted by the economic disparities in our nation.
My people live by images. Every moment of our lives is one such crystal of perfection. Poets have fuelled rebellious fires, they’ve led to cascades of tears, they’ve painted the best of nature, and highlighted our biggest fears.(And there it goes again. Not quite dead.)
Here I am, sitting amidst my old notebooks, reminded again of the hum of a new poem as the line dances in my mind’s eye. And here I have lost the love, to pick that line with care and spin a tale around it. It is oddly peaceful, not having to run after stray lines all the time.
But for a poet, peace never lasts.