“Some writers are too logical, so they write straight, are the stuff of strictly prose. Some weep. Perhaps a bit too much. I think I know who they are. Those are the poets.” — Valentina
Tonight is a night for poetry — reading, writing, reviewing, editing, poeming — yes, you read that first from me, poeming. I like the sound of it. Poeming. A verb, as in “to poem all about the place” and make poeming, even making love a poeming thing. Or would that become a noun? “They did a poeming upstairs.” *giggles* That sounds more like making a baby! But, not really. I can imagine writers getting it on as in a poeming, performing together to produce a “baby”, as in co-write a book, yet in this case it would have to be a book of songs without music. Because is that not poetry?
Yet… Much of the time, in my spare time, which is all of my time, my songs are written alone, most comfortably written alone — a poeming alone just as passionate as sex, and as regular as dreaming, and not every poem that comes I remember to put down. Now as I think on it, when a poem is written well, and I know it is delicious as I read it to myself, it is as real as orgasm shuddering through the body as cool as rivers of rain snake through parched earth when the clouds break. It feels like it does when the last of my tears are breathed out and I suck in that salt-tinged relief — ‘finally, I’m done crying, I can work on getting rid of this headache now’ — and closing my eyes is like opening them.
When sobbing stops, singing begins. First a hum, then a whisper, a whisper working its way into a kind of keening-come-yodeling-into-a-word, and that word may be someone’s name, or the name of a God, or no thing at all but a comforting sound that feels like mother or home. Then the words take shape like those I slowly learned when I began to walk — when I began to walk the world with words — once with ‘hello’, another with ‘who’, and reaching out for ‘you’. And I always poem with a ‘you’ even though I’m never really poeming about any one person but perhaps myself.
Every poet is a singer singing about their self and the tears between them and the world and all the figures that people it. Poeming a totem pole of idiom and rhythm, verse and rhyme, til songs are louder than they existed, and songs become the anthems of nations, til poets fade into shadow’s poeming itself. And my own poeming about poeming dissolves into a mad woman’s lonely howling under the Midsummer’s eve moon, like the tiny owl in my painting, formed with just dots of paint, made with water, a poem about myself, on a night when I thought of you, but not of you. But maybe, just maybe, it’s all about you.
You’d understand if you be a poet, too.