I think I’ve figured out why poets are so dark and brooding, and sometimes project a sense of passionate rage and barely controlled violence. It’s because they’re really nice people. They actually do have terrible desires to poke out eyeballs or violently kick shins and other bits, but they’re exercising extreme self-control, merely smiling darkly, and muttering into their beards. This is definitely not an attitude cultivated, as I originally suspected, to project a Heathcliffian (Wuthering Heights – yes – I know it’s not a word) kind of smouldering, yet menacing sexiness. They really do want to be left alone in a garret somewhere to be at one with their angst, and be able to curse loudly, yet unheard, at the bastard lack of a word that rhymes with innocence.
Trying to write a few poems for Christopher’s Diary in African Me has proved quite a voyage of discovery. I’ve discovered violent and surly depths to my own character that I never for a moment suspected were there. I’ve always thought I was rather nice, caring, and generally more than willing to do anything to help out. Turns out that the mauve beret has revealed a pretty mean side to me. I won’t share my more elaborately violent daydreams when innocently asked to type a little thing, or pass the biscuits, or I would imagine every one of my friends would run for the hills in terror, never to speak my name again. I think these malignant thoughts might make for a pretty nasty character in a future book though, so having a go at poetry may not turn out to be a total loss. Of course I won’t give up till I have at least three semi-decent poems. I just hope that unsuspecting innocents around me survive the trip.
New Rules Learnt:-
1. Avoid scowling people wearing mauve berets and occasionally throwing pencils at nothing in particular.
2. Be nicer to poets. They try really hard not to hurt you.
3. Don’t talk to poets unless they talk to you first.
4. Don’t look at poets unless they look at you first, and if they do look first after you’ve just spoken – run!!
5. Don’t ask poets to do things, unless you’re asking from outside when they’re inside, and you’re really sure you can outsprint them if they leap out of the window.
6. If you’ve never tried to write a poem before, don’t start now. I think it could be some sort of possession.
7. This is not really to do with poetry, but not a bad thing to know. If your best friend’s a plumber, don’t ask him to fix your loo when he’s nibbling on a canapé and sipping a lager. Plumbers can be just as dangerous as poets I’m thinking.
And so, back to my darkened den to see if I can find words that rhyme with other words, and yet make sense, while trying mightily not to leap on anyone and pull their eyebrows out one hair at a time.
Till next time friends. xxx