Poetry: Mr. Bill’s Dream Logic (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-one

My poem challenge today was to write a poem that incorporates wild, surreal images. I was to use writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but engages all the senses and involves dream logic.

Well-known strangers speak
without talking, to us much younger
than before when it was me,
but not I; colors of unseen
monochrome images of unlimited
limitations. Chases by odorless fears
of panic unharmed—yelling out into
this empty reality of unfolding challenges
without beginnings or ways to an end.
Movement without effort, watching
as space and time pass unchallenged
by a pointlessness of futile efforts.
Yell out! Why? The dogs.

A colorless kaleidoscope of
meaningful meaningless images,
sounds unheard, spoken with
windless breaths. Fear seeing
through closed eyes, hearing with
deaf ears, brown hair on bald men,
run, kick, yell, stop, breathing.
Fight back!
Awaken,
let go. Rewind. Dream On!
Dream real.

© Bill Reynolds 4/21/2019

Is this a dream within a dream?
Look both ways for unseen meaningless threats, gapless gorges, and mindful mindlessness.

 

Po’ Poetry – Blatant Babble

This is the first of two unpolished, stream of consciousness poems without form or structure. It’s a mental rant I experienced. I can’t explain it, other than to say I was in the kitchen when the thoughts hit me like three pissed off Muses. I went to my computer and wrote them. I think it is a poor man’s poem, thus the Po’.

***

Good enough is not more shit of a leader’s pass, or the lesser of a prompt leading to a dump. Enough. Is it done? Submittable? Ready to rock primetime or roll in a sty? A thought, a dot, to words and to arms, concludes with brains on pages to be sniffed up into minds with more thoughts and dots. Or, not to be. More snot than thought. Did sniff think shit don’t stink? Good enough is a lie that will have to do because this the tragic end-point that leads to death by less than. What then? Bless the sweet little pickled brain of poisonous brine leaking worthy words of wisdom. Applause. I came, I saw, I failed; I came again, I dumped, they cried. It stinks. It’s good enough. Let it go. Unforgiven consciousness of the unconscionable!

 ©Bill Reynolds 12/13/2018

***

Look both ways with random thoughts.
Be mindful of blatant babbling gaps.
Good enough?

Poetry: Your Time

Both afraid and unafraid,
full of fury and stunned by fear,
he stood insecure
and timid
with no comfort, spending his day
in worry, fretting and wondering,
‘what will people say?’

From his platform in the sky, he looked down
on the maybes and what ifs,
and he heard the voice ask: ‘why?’
He closed his eyes and softly spoke,
‘I’m afraid!’

The voice was soft and calm,
‘do as you wish,
not as others say,
this is your time,
your day is today.’

He moved closer to the edge.
His body was shaking,
his eyes crying,
his knees buckled as the voice kept saying,

‘to live you must die and die again
as you suffer pain of mind and body,
today is your time, now will never be again.’

As he stepped out from his comfort platform
into the abyss of reality he fell.
His body emptied itself, so sure it was
that he was bound for hell.
Down he went, just falling.
Falling away from and toward. But there was
more the voice had to say.

‘Again and again, for the rest of your life
you must step to the edge and jump
into your strife. Fear is your friend,
but let not worry be your master.
Jump, jump, and jump again.’

© Bill Reynolds 9/13/2018

 

Look both ways, all around, up and down.
Then jump.
Mind the gaps, but deal with them when you live into your question.

Poetry – NaPoWriMo: My Affirmation

 

The day six prompt of the 2018 National Poetry Writing Month challenge is to “write a poem that stretches your comfort zone with line breaks. That could be a poem with very long lines, or very short lines. Or a poem that blends the two.”

I wrote the poem, but the words? Perhaps you recognize them.

 

 

My Affirmation

calmness
serenity
comes to me
the universe I cannot see
change
or control

grant them dignity
to be
as they are
humanity…mine…yours…theirs

face change with

wisdom from experience, peace through acceptance, knowledge of listening

with silent love

and…

it
all
begins with
………………………….me

 

(Bill Reynolds 4/6/2018)

Alertly relax as you look both ways. Fear not gaps but be mindful.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

Fear and Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, is about fear. I thought it was supposed to be about creativity, but it is really about fear.

fear and gilbert book 3Fear is normal. We all experience it and depending on the circumstance, it is a prudent thing. Mostly, we seem to fear the unknown. I like many lines in the movie As Good as it Gets, staring Jack Nicholson as Melvin Udall. One of them is Udall to patients in a psychiatrist’s waiting room, “What if this is as good as it gets?” While things may get worse, what if they will not get better. Strange as that may seem, if true, the shrink will soon be out of business. Each patient’s fear may remain in that their problem may get worse, but now they could focus on dealing with life from a different (albeit less hopeful) situation.

In my opinion, what I, and I assume many others, fear most is the unknown lurking in the future. In her book, Gilbert approves of people using entitlement to help overcome fear and any hesitation to create. I would prefer confidence. Maybe I am being a wordsmith about this, but if a person has confidence (faked or not), the likelihood of success increases. I like this baseball analogy.

fear and gilbert bookA child playing shortstop has a line-drive hit directly at them, they will likely duck and the ball may go into the outfield, thus the batter gets on base. This is true due to a justified fear of being hit with rock-hard baseball suddenly streaking like a rocket toward their head. An experienced shortstop may adjust body position slightly, but will watch the ball and attempt to catch it. The latter is the safest choice in most cases. Experience and confidence payoff successfully in this case. The batter is out!

As I understand it, what Elizabeth Gilbert is trying to say is that we should not allow fear to prevent us from creating something. She also suggests not letting drinking alcohol, feeling depressed, or other illness interfere with our creative adventures. She is right in that folks suffering those issues should seek professional treatment and not assume that such issues are creative muses.

In several places she treats alcoholism as a choice. I have serious doubts that many of us awaken one day, look in the mirror and say, “I need to drink more so that I can be more creative.” Take your pick: drug addiction, depression, suicidal thoughts, or just plain meanness are not choices real people make to enhance their creative juices. They are problems people have and Gilbert tries to explain this, but the whole discussion is too long, convoluted, and contrived.

Fear and worry about what others think of our work are justified, but as Liz says, that fear need not prevent us from doing things with our ideas. We will want feedback, especially if we ask for it (Beta or Arc readers). We want it both ways. An honest opinion and good critique. But what we also want to hear is, “That is so wonderful.” Or the response from the big publishing house that says, “Please send remainder of book immediately. We must publish this book of yours as quickly as possible. Fat advance check enclosed herewith.”

fear and gilbert book4

Where I agree most with Liz is that we need to do that work. We need to make the stuff that we want to make. We need to try. I need to write: my novel, my essays, my memoir, short stories, and (in spite of Gilbert says in her self-help book about not writing a self-help) my own self-help book. I want to write a few poems. I want to do the stuff writers do. As far as her suggestion to put my created ‘baby’ out there; that is my decision.

fear gilbert book0It is indeed true. Fear is there. It can be helpful or harmful. It depends on how we manage and deal with it.

My next blog coming on Friday will focus on another book that actually is about creativity and aligns much better with my point of view.

How do you deal with this topic of fear and creativity?

Does fear prevent you from doing things?