Friday, September 16, 2005

To Write

i've been battling a strange case of bloggers block for the past few days. haven't been motivated to post or, rather, haven't been motivated to spend adequate time constructing a post. judging by the end product, it's probably surprising to hear how much time i waste building these damn entries, but it can take hours, sometimes up to day to finish one. i'll write shit, leave it, read it, reread it, rewrite it, give it a rest and then come back to it. and even after all that, i'll still reread old posts and come up with better ways to phrase things. i know, it's such a great greek tragedy -- what a cross us bloggers bear. sometimes i think we write more for ourselves than our audiences, but if that were true then i wouldn't give as much a shit about how this thing read.

when i was in school, my english teachers would always tell me, "milla, you have such a fluid writing style." i couldn't appreciate that then as much as i do now. i think that's because my connotations of "fluid" were dumbly associated with things like bodily fluids, things like piss. that was before i discovered the joys of such fluids as wine, coffee and vodka. in any case, i think my writing style today is still pretty fluid, though (hopefully) less flowery. reading over my oldest ramblings can induce nausea. even reading over my more recent ramblings can do the same: "[the moon rises] big and yellow over the horizon like the eye of g-d." who the hell am i kidding?

i've been dipping into this fabulous new book of poetry i bought recently -- Teen Angst: A Celebration of Really Bad Poetry. as you might have guessed, this is a compilation of teenage "poetry." this book has reduced me to tears and nearly a self-wetting, it's made me laugh so hard. inspired, i dug up my old "poetry" and was horrified at the doozies i could have added to this. if there is a volume 2, i am so submitting.

poetry is just mostly bad in general. even old-school poems from the great cannonized masters could be considered bad by today's standards. lots of them seem so treacly to me now. not that i hate poetry by any means. i have my faves, certainly. but it's so subjective and, unlike "good" writing which can appeal to a lowest common denominator, "good" poetry and poets must carve out their own fanbase, similar to musical acts. it's just not that universal unless, of course, we're talking about The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock or The Hollow Men. ah, t.s. eliot.

but when we're talking about less universal stuff like This is Just to Say, which i love, but i know my fellow blogger and buddy KT doesn't, then no one really wins. it becomes too "arguable." and although any type of art should arguably be one way or another, when we're talking about taste and preference and style, no objective, sound conclusions can be drawn -- or should be drawn. (but when we're talking about country music, we can uniformly conclude that it sucks. no arguments needed. though we can appreciate it for its comedic value.)

so i don't write poetry (anymore) because i don't think i could ever truly gauge my own "poetry's" worth. this probably sounds like a crummy reason, and probably is a crummy reason, but i can't get past it. truthfully, it's probably because writing good poetry is too hard and i'm too lazy to try. i can take a hard look at the prose i've written and see what's worked and what hasn't and reach some conclusions that work for me, but poetry is a wild animal. you can think it's been tamed and trained and you have it all under control, then one day it'll turn on you and drag you offstage by your neck, like it did that guy from the vegas tiger show. and then you're fucked and lying in the hospital almost paralyzed with a doozy to submit to the Teen Angst book.

wait, i'm mixing metaphors. seems i don't have this prose thing tamed and trained either. so let me just fall back on some platitudes: writing is a process, it's a journey, just like life. but that's bullshit, too, because writing is more about an end product, whereas life's end product is death. so nevermind.

where was i going with this again? oh, yeah. poetry is weird. the end.

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