Andrea Gibson, on her Facebook page, recently posted a status that said: "write a love poem to one part of yourself you haven't learned to love yet." I read that and thought, "ooh! I can totally do that!" So I tried...and I tried...and I tried...and all my attempts came out completely pathetic. Or rather, nothing really came out at all. I'm pretty sure my muse has abandoned me. The way I've neglected her recently, I can't say I blame her.
This poem, apparently, was what wanted to be written instead. Each word was like pulling teeth, but it was written. I doubt it will appease my writing muse enough to come home, but there are words in black and white. That means something, always.
What about you? Can you write a poem with Gibson's prompt? Or what about an un-love poem, as I seem to have written? Regardless of which one you write, remember that the words on the page mean something--always.
Not a Love Poem
I’ve never written a love poem
--certainly never to you—
are more anxious than loving,
bitter, not doting,
have more anger than passion,
travel existential roundabouts
instead of lovesick highways
to impossible stars.
I’ve never written you a love poem because before
I publicly declare my love for you
I need to break off this thing I have going.
It’s nothing serious but I’ll
have to go through the break-up phase:
the boxes of tissues,
the sappy movies,
the sleepless nights.
I don’t want to nurse a heart so broken,
don’t want to risk the violence:
I know she’s no good for me, but self-doubt can be
a jealous lover.
I’m not writing you a love poem because
I can’t find the pieces of my broken heart:
I left it out like a jigsaw, and tenderness
was just one of the piece that got chewed on and batted
to no-mans land with the dust and old change.
Don’t blame yourself.
It’s me, not you:
watch me striking out again
I close my eyes and miss the ball knowing
a home run would let me
but I’ve been running for so long
like ET and Dorothy, I just want to get there
so I get on my bicycle and pedal like hell
click my heels three times,
throw pennies into wishing wells.
around my existential roundabout
as I pedal and click, throwing old change at it all:
I’m not writing you a love poem.
I have no idea