Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dammit, Poetry

Poetry is something I haven't done since third grade. But can I just say I kicked ass at it? But that is not to say I cannot appreciate poetry. Poetry, good poetry anyway, boils away all the prose and filler in a story and leaves really good imagery. It's the mental slap that makes you pay attention, the metaphor that immediately connects you to the writer's mental picture, the simile that's so familiar and true you can't help but laugh or weep or groan. Most poetry is not good poetry.

That being said, I'm still attending the local writer's meets on Tuesday hoping for fiction each time. Selfish of me, I know. Whenever it's poetry, I groan and die a little inside, but I make the best of it. I hang in there and pick out little phrases, good imagery and other things you'll get from good poetry.

Sometimes it's rather good, and I laugh or clam up the way the writer wanted. Mostly I try to look interested as not to be impolite. I found myself playing with beer coasters tonight, waiting for that electric shock of a great metaphor to hit me. It did hit now and then, like a white ball bouncing around a roulette wheel. But like that same roulette wheel, it missed more than not.

If nothing else, I get to take in the people around me. The traits, the sounds. The ebb and flow of conversation, the details that make these people real. The awkward way a teenage girl holds a cigarette as she tries to look cool. The glances of undergrads at pints of beer, like caged wolves eyeing a cut of steak. The guy sitting next to me talking to somebody about how good fantasy novels have the same hitting points as literary fiction, all in a nasally voice that makes me weep to be in the 'Sci-Fi/Fantasy' bookshelves. The little things.

But if I keep going, it can't ALL be poetry. I think. I hope. And besides, networking - such a God-awful word but one we all have to do in some form or another - can always be done.

I'll keep writing, you keep reading. That's the deal. I'll see what I can do to make it worthwhile.

Wordslinger-117 out.

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