Poetry: Poetry

Some say it is trickery that poets secretly do,
to pretend to understand the incomprehensible
words of each other. Some poets say poetry
should not be easily comprehended, that even
other poets should not see, or the art is not
of the true deep, hidden source of secrecy.

I read poems that lift my spirits, and some
darkens my soul, even with true life and death,
but I feel my eyes squint and my brow push
down to a wrinkled quandary as I try to see,
to find meaning and purpose and message, to
apply the plated words to my taste and be
aware of comprehending and understanding.

Do those of us who love poems love all?
Is every poem ever penned done with message
and purpose that all others, or just some,
might perceive and claim joy found
in the artfulness and clever voice
of the poet who sat and wrote words to read?

© Bill Reynolds 2/14/2019

Look both ways and Happy Valentine’s Day.
Mind the gap, but don’t gape.
O Captain! My Captain!

Poetry: Peace Be With You

 

Dark Night Warrior

I love the common, the warm blanket of peace,
the soft whispers of a perfect and quiet day,
the calm of nature, birds, and other people
smiling and loving and happy.

But the Dark Night of thunder and storm,
of lightning and wind and rain excites me.
I feel more alive in a storm than safe
in the banal aspects of a sheltered existence.

My every dream is a warlike challenge
of attacks and kills and fights to a death.
Even mine.
What warrior is content to watch the battle?
Half of me belongs to the night, the dark.

I believe in war, combat, risk, and battle.
Bore me not with stories of contentment.
Challenge me with fear and excitement
before I die from fucking fattened monotony.

© Bill Reynolds, 2/11/2019

Look both ways and ask what kind of existence you want.
The gaps?
Oh yes, there are always the gaps to mind.

Personal Poetry: Status Report

I wrote more than 31 poems this month – at least one per day. I hope to write one each day for the rest of the year. Some days I must force them out, other days they flow with my emotions; often several. It seems I do my best work when emotionally unstable and I just spew my voice and my words onto the paper. Technically, they are not quite tidy, but the color splashes feel so good.

My January list follows as either titles or topics.

  1. The Dark Random Universe
  2. Scout (my daughter’s dog is named Thor, but I like Scout better)
  3. A poem about a tractor
  4. Brainless True Believers (I was/am pissed)
  5. Old man goes for a swim (not me, but his name is Bill)
  6. The feel of the pool (me in the water)
  7. A poem about writing
  8. Not belonging (how it feels)
  9. The goodness in badness
  10. The F Word (I know some of you love it as much as I do)
  11. A Tough Momma’s Boy
  12. The Greatest Sin (published on blog)
  13. Benched (also published)
  14. Companionship reality
  15. Free People
  16. Turkey and Turks
  17. As it was (published)
  18. Golf Carts (they are everywhere here)
  19. Cats (I like dogs, too. But cats intrigue me.)
  20. Walking (I do it virtually every day)
  21. Undisclosed (political bitching)
  22. Born into a smoking world
  23. Stormy (weather or person?)
  24. Suicide
  25. Meaning in Life
  26. The Contemplative Atheist
  27. No Dog in the Fight
  28. The Cancer Closet
  29. Time and Life
  30. Climate Collapse
  31. Today (in a Carpe Diem sense)

Look both ways, back at January (Winter), forward to March (Spring).
Mind the gaps, and happy Imbolc, St. Brigid’s, or ground hog day.
It’s all February to me.

Poetry: Benching

Benching

I’ve been benched
watching
and thinking –
but mostly resting,
feeling sore and angry
because I do know the score.

Sit down and shut up,
sit on your hands
she said.
Be a good little nobody.
When the tyrant teases,
take it like a man.

Fuck that. I am what I am
if that is not pleasing to you,
eat me, ass hole sick breath.
I dunno why I’m here but
not to please you is for sure.
Not one damn bit sorry am I.

I benched myself, to rest,
to think and to talk, to look
and to waive my wave or
give the nod, an atheist’s blessings
be upon you and your dreams.
The pains and gains piss on the bench,
and the next and next after that.

Feel the pain in my body, my mind and my core
I’m benched — out of the game. On my ass.
Sitting here watching dogs and deer,
wondering when this all will pass.
Sympathy and anger, it’s all the same to me.
On the bench is where, I can always
be – or is this all that I now can be?

Now you can tell me, to get off my ass
to make the pain come on back, to stretch,
and move, to walk and run and to see and feel.
Benching is good and it feels so bad.
Move over dip shit, this is my bench,
My time to cry, my time to rest

on the old man’s bench.

© Bill Reynolds 1/14/2019

Look both ways and know where the respites hide.
Mind the gaps. Broken slivers can hurt.

Semi-Po’ Poetry – Weltschmerz

I have my regrets

I regret the last kiss, never the first
I regret more of the past than what’s in my future,
I regret imperfections in me and
I regret any less thans others might see,
I regret not going when I could have gone
I regret leaving, when I should have stayed

I regret every time I felt envy, all desire to possess
I regret wanting to be something I’m not
I regret being one of the great pretenders,
I regret sitting, when I should have stood,
I regret my silence when I should have spoken,
I regret thinking too much, and writing too little

I regret what I did late, that I could have done early
I regret too few helloes and too many goodbyes
I regret all my losses that were not good lessons
I regret any pain that I have ever given others
I regret what I knew, when I didn’t know at all
And I regret all my ignorance, when I should’ve known better

I regret my hate, instead of love’s compassion,
I regret when I failed, because I didn’t try harder,
I regret knowing now, what I didn’t know then
I regret learning later, what I should’ve known sooner,
I regret ever killing anything for sport or for pleasure

I don’t regret being human,

But it is so very human to say, “I regret…”

***

©Bill Reynolds 12/31/2018

***

“For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.

We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.”

***

Look both ways, to last year and to next.
May fewer gaps in your future bless your past in every way.
Happy New Year, Y’All

Note: For the definition of Weltschmerz, please click HERE.

Mo’ Po’ Poetry – Quit whining! Write.

This is the second poem like this. To see the first, ‘Blatant Babble,’ click here.

Am I dead when I cannot write? Did I stroke out? Are my feelings hurt? I can write. Shit! I can write drunk. I can always write! The haunting of the living, the thoughts, opinions, and feelings of others who may read my screed; so they bar me from my work, my art, my love. My inner say of séance. The ghosts of failure, the confusion of thought, the confessor imposter! The loss of muse; the stark naked strawness of boned-out creative nothingness. But, to fear bland boring blight? I can write. I’m physically mentally capable of stringing words with a good or bad mix into a pot or onto a page. I can write! I can always write; always, always, but not always write a win: my first Pulitzer. Needs work. Write words. I can write. Write?

 ©Bill Reynolds 12/20/2018

I agree. Do you?

Look both ways, but life can only be written backwards.
Mind the gaps, they are spaces on your resume.
Is this all write right?

When It’s a Mere Story (fake, fake, true)

It is a story, a fib, a lie (if you like). I prefer reading and writing nonfiction (reality), but like any writer, I sometimes make things up and present them as literature. They also surface as fiction or reflections of imagination in my poems.

In my writer’s tool box are words, ideas, experience, knowledge, limited imagination, and scant creativity (I know where to get it), technology (a long list of software and hardware goes here), language, and some ability to read and write. Admitting my shortcomings as a journeyman of letters, I consider every editor I know to be a (god or goddess) helpful resource along with a multitude of other writers, authors, and critics.

I like to work with parable, symbolism, simile, metaphor, allegory and allusion, analogy, and soliloquy in poems and essays. I am talking about verisimilitude (all 14 letters and six syllables), or the appearance of reality or truth. I found that word on a list as I researched this piece.

When it’s not biographical and is just a story, it gets tricky. It’s not the writing. It’s what (WTF) am I talking about? Fiction resides in reality and truth. Fact can likewise be disguised in fiction. Names, dates, situations, and persons are often fictionalized in truth.

I know twins (grandparents) who, as children, were both present at a memorable and emotional family event. They both remember it well. However, when they discuss it, each has a different version of the same event, even though they stood side-by-side as eyewitnesses. Each is telling the truth, but how each one saw it and remembers it is different.

One of my favorite authors is Pat Conroy. Pat wrote autobiographical fiction. His stories were based on his real life: his family, people he knew and loved, his schools, his job as a teacher, and other real events. Indeed, his fiction was based (often heavily) on real life.

Conroy paid a high price in several ways. A lot of people got mad at him. Some fellow writers looked down on his creativity (or lack of) in using real world events and people to write fiction. I like the ties to the real. But that does not mean there was always such an entwinement. Other autobiographical fiction writers include Tim O’Brien, Sylvia Plath, Sandra Cisneros, and many others.

Sometimes I make up a story from a thought or memory, but the reality is only a setting or a trigger. It is not necessarily autobiographical or about current real-life circumstances. It is not a message to someone, not a plot applicable to my personal life, not real at all. Many people assume it is. However, sometimes (often?) it is all of that.

I like the ‘how-to’ memoir book by Tristine Rainer, “Your Life as Story: Discovering the ‘New Autobiography’ and Writing Memoir as Literature.” While one should never intentionally lie (fib?), it may be necessary to fill gaps in events with things that may not be exactly precise, true, and factual.

I have been told that every writer (artist or person) puts part of him- or herself into everything he or she writes. I agree. Still, not everything I write is real, or happened, or is about any real person. It may be about how I feel or what I experience emotionally.

Indeed, it was or is true or partly true, or the true facts as I recall them. Often, for me, my writing is a search for myself – for my truth, my honesty, my story, my interpretation of actual events. Maybe it’s just psycho-babble, but writing seems to be part of me trying to say something about me. I’ve written a memoir. It is unfinished, but I will get back to it.

I wrote a poem about a door. A suggested title was ‘An Ode to Agoraphobia.’ While the poem was not intended to be about any mental condition, after I wrote it, I realized it was clearly about fear of going out into the world. I’ve never had such a fear. When I researched possible submissions, I discovered that some publications only wanted it if I suffered from the malady. I ain’t sayin’ I do when I don’t.

The mag’s policy made sense technically, but it was a true poem about a real emotional or mental state that I can only imagine. I’ve written stories about men committing suicide and people doing all sorts of things I never have or will do. Human behavior, bizarre or normal, is interesting. Fiction and nonfiction rely on interest.

The catch is that when people assume what I write is directly associated with my life, they’re usually correct. People who know me personally would certainly assume autobiographical or nonfictional writing, especially other writers. They know how I work. However, sometimes it is just my overactive Irish blarney oozing onto the page with a bit of imagination peppered with fib to improve the taste.

And that, my dear friends, is the absolute truth.

Look both ways in fact and fiction.
Let reality peek into the gaps of light in everything.