Friday, May 25, 2007

All my poems are boys (men?)

My husband and I have just had this rather raunchy conversation over a bottle of wine, in which I am complaining about getting back into some sort of rhythm with writing and going over in some detail how I think I'm going to do that, and in the meantime, somehow, writing poems gets compared to sex, or, rather, I am finding myself talking about the relationships I have and have had with my poems.

Specifically, I am saying that I have 50-some poems I am in the process of sending out, and that that is in many ways a good thing--these are all good poems, more or less--but my relationship with each of them is really finished. They are pleasant memories and good times had, but our time together is now done. So I'm trying to find them homes and new relationships to take the sting out of the fact for them that I don't really want them anymore.

So my husband asks me to elaborate on this and draw some of this metaphor out further. And I oblige, because I have had more red wine than is actually good for my heart, and I point out that, well, you know, some of these poems were good f**ks. Some of them were tumultuous relationships. Some of these relationships went on for years. Sometimes people or teachers kept telling me that I should want to have relationships with certain poems--sometimes I agreed--sometimes I resisted.

My husband is, of course, interested in the first category--now he is concerned that he has to compete with words. Big words. But, no, I tell him, it's about the deep, intense relationship I have with the poem--how fun it was to jump into bed with it. Whether the intellectual engagement was satisfying--just frustrating enough, but not too frustrating. At some point, the poem had to give in.

Which is far better than those poems with which you have relationships for years--with whose faces you get quite tired of seeing at the breakfast table. You know you should really tell them it's time to get your own apartment, but you never do. You wait for them to leave first.

Tomorrow, perhaps, some thoughts on aphorism.

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