December 5, 2008

What’s it like to be a poet?

Filed under: Poetry — daz76 @ 6:25 am
Tags: ,

Some people often ask me, “What’s it like being a poet?” and I never realy know what to say, because it is such a weird thing to talk about. Being a poet, that is. I’m a self proclaimed poet, no one ever ordained me as such. In my mind the fact that for whatever fucked up reason I see myself as a poet is what is the real credential to being a poet. That or a degree in poetry, I guess… Also, I actually, on a somewhat regular basis write and publish my own poems. Done deal as far as I’m concerned.

To once and for all answer the question, “What’s it like being a poet?” I have to reply first and foremost that it’s kind of a burden. It’s not a burden like having to plow the field, it just takes up a lot of space in my mind. And it sucks trying to remember everything when you can’t write down notes, like in the car.  Speaking of, there is a reason I write this now. I wrote my first poem tonight while sitting alone drinking in a bar.

It’s the poem below. I went downtown to see a band with this hot tattooed chick who plays bass but I was late and it was $10. Stubb’s inside is not my favorite place to see bands anyway so I bailed and was going to go home or meet up with a roller derby girl I know, but for some reason I just wanted to have a beer at Lovejoy’s. This is not about Lovejoy’s so I will spare the description and simply say really awesome divey punk rock pool hall. I was just sitting alone at the bar drinking a Guinness (very good) and soaking up the atmosphere. Had a nice chat with a guy named Mark from Creekside Lounge. We talked about DJ stuff and eventually he went back to work.

I was there on the early side and things were just getting going, it was at that point where there were enough bodies in the room so that the cold draft didn’t make it to where I was, at the bar, every time the door opened. I only had two beers but I took so much in as I sat there. The atmosphere and diversity of people, all unified by some kind of love for rock and drinking. And the girls. Here is the whole poet thing in a nutshell: I could go on for paragraphs describing everything I remember and make you bored as shit while doing it probably. Instead I will refer you again to the poem below. At least for me, what I do, is about economy of words and putting across a clear idea.

Whatevs, the important thing here is that I have entered a new echelon of being a poet as I have now composed in  a bar. It was great! It felt totally natural and I plan on writing a poem at a bar whenever I go out from now on.

Check it out, I dabble in many mediums from drawing to video art and those are all child’s play in comparison to writing poetry. Poetry is the one form of art that completely eludes McLuhan’s proclamation, “The medium is the message”. In poetry no, Marshall, the message is the message. Sure there’s verbose incomprehensible mind fuck poetry too and that shit is great, but if you really want to know what it’s like to be a poet just try it. When you feel certain that in your attempts at poetry you have pissed off or annoyed an academic type you are on the right path. It’s like graffiti. People don’t just write graffiti to get famous, a big part of it is pissing off the yuppies. Same with poetry.

I know that isn’t exactly the answer to the question, “What’s it like to be…” and I go back to my original answer, it’s a burden. It’s a burden because somebody has to do it (no, for real, somebody has to do it), and for whatever reason I took the fucking job. So here we are.


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