Since I ended my job as a middle-school English teacher (I would love to say never again, but I know better), writing has been sporadic. Actually, that’s not true–I show up at the page every day, but the quality has been sporadic. On the last day of my job, I had cleaned out my room but couldn’t leave until the principal gave me the all-clear, so I had plenty of time to write. What came out was garbage. Granted, it was a lot of garbag (nearly three thousand words), but there was nothing salvageable.
Perhaps, as my wife says, my brain needed a break. It’s only been a week since school got out, and my writing is still mainly junk. What follows is an example. It isn’t so much poetry as it is word vomit. I’m sharing it to encourage other writers to get out on the page whatever needs to come out, even if you look at it and say, “By Jove, that’s a mess.” A mess is better than nothing.
That being said, there’s still hope (I know I make it all sound dire, like I’ll never write anything I’m happy with. EVER AGAIN). As an editor told me once:
I dig the weirdness in [your] poems, but weirdness would be a bit of an understatement. It’s as if you’re using this idea of weirdness/strangeness to explore irreparable longing – perhaps irreparable longing is the glue that holds today’s world together. – Justin Karcher, Ghost City Review
These words mean the world to me because that’s what I try to do in my poetry. It burbles up from my subconcious, fueled by the Great Cosmic Signal, and I do my best to convey the feelings inside me. My work is often dark and sad, and I do feel a sense of irreparble longing; it’s part and parcel of the human condition. Two things alleviate some of that longing: writing poetry and writing music.
So…here’s some word vomit.
We Spin On
The vampire flowers made her sad,
and I ate another plate of fear salad.
This isn’t helping anything, said the erstwhile
Martian as he clung to the last thread of life.
The boulders of Colorado made a rodeo.
Eggs beat in rhythm to the veins of ocean.
More likely, the face of autumn.
The fan blew on the mighty moon, and
the tail of escaping steam was moody.
We spin on, the stars murmured. We spin on.
2 thoughts on “We Spin On (word vomit)”
I got into to teaching because I thought it would give me all this time to write! Yeah right. Maybe if I got in a racket other than Catholic school teaching. It’s better than some professions, I guess. I mean, William Carlos Williams did it as a doctor right? And didn’t what’s his name sell insurance? Wallace Stevens? Anyway, nice poem. I especially love the fear salad. Salads are more fearful than any other side, I think.
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I actually wrote a great deal during the school year, just in ten-fifteen minutes bursts. I wrote before morning duty and on my planning period, making sure I could still get to the copy machine. At least, early in the year. By the time it became clear that I simply had to survive, I wrote more and planned less. In the end, I put more thought and passion into my ten minute writing sessions than I did in my actual job (since my job mainly consisted of quelling arguments, tell students to sit down, and often standing in the middle of the room, wondering where everything had gone wrong).
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