I also wish I was a poet. When I was young, I wrote reams of overly dramatic poetry, bleak in its consideration of all topics. I wrote a few poems this past year, usually when I wanted to be creative in a very structured way. But they were penned with no knowledge of the craft. I want to learn more about the rules of poetry, because I find it enigmatic, but enticing. I think I just described most of my college boyfriends.
Songs are the poems of my everyday life. I am always astounded by how so few words, phrased so compactly, can have such impact. As a writer, a beautiful lyric both inspires and depresses me. I want to compose my images with the same brevity of language and clarity of vision. I long to forge that connection between the words and the reader.
Speaking of longing....
Today is Valentine's Day. It's a manufactured holiday, but I like to use it to remind my children about the importance of love, in all its permutations: parental love, brotherly love, self love, neighborly love, date love, creature love, earth love. I don't know if love is all you need (food and shelter seem fairly important), but I think love can make the world go 'round much more smoothly. I have given up on my dream of playing drums, but I haven't given up on love.
Each day this week I'm going to share a lyric I find particularly luminous, as a mini-poem in the margin. And I'm going to include a poem that reminds me of the amazing, transformative, heartbreaking, life-affirming, messy, miraculous power of love. And words.
Bar Napkin Sonnet #11
Things happen when you drink too much mescal.
One night, with not enough food in my belly,
he kept on buying. I’m a girl who’ll fall
damn near in love with gratitude and, well, he
was hot and generous and so the least
that I could do was let him kiss me, hard
and soft and any way you want it, beast
and beauty, lime and salt—sweet Bacchus’ pards—
and when his friend showed up I felt so warm
and generous I let him kiss me too.
His buddy asked me if it was the worm
inside that makes me do the things I do.
I wasn’t sure which worm he meant, the one
I ate? The one that eats at me alone?
(Megan's disclaimer: I don't intend for the poems to convey the details of my epic love affair with the Captain. They just might, anyway.)