ChickenWas contemplating submitting a few poems to a local competition –
(four poems for £10. Which one of my Creative Writing examples should I enter? Which would win? I read last year’s winner... well constructed, beautifully written, saccharine)
- hustle the cash and the glory, then skedaddle, giggling with irony, spouting limericks, in a futile attempt to shatter the preposterous bluster of it all. Yes, sir, I do bite my thumb at you.
The kick-arse Bukowski side of me became belligerent, pointing out the bunk in all that, reminding me of my real poems, the ones that save me and keep me sane; blank anxious verse for a numb mind. Existential doggerel. That’s who I am. That’s my voice.
I knew the end was nigh when I found myself singing to my therapist, as if demanding to be heard in that voice. Bitter and nasty and desperate. So, rather than the forced, limping iambic beat of a sonnet or a mangled haiku, I decided to make the schizoid choice. Poetry comes from awe, sublimation and playing with madness. The idea of a competition is absurd, paradoxical to the spirit in which poetry should be written.