1. I like lists, because they give a reasonable way to present my disjointed thoughts
2. I find it hard – very hard – to write poems based around happiness. Please understand that when I say happiness, I don’t mean joy; I don’t mean deep-seated contentedness and a general pleasant outlook on life. I mean fluff, momentary glimpses of fleeting, nigh pointless emotion. And I don’t mean the happiness that come after a long struggle either: that’s a happiness that gives service, gives value and worth to the struggle. I mean I find it immensely hard to write fluff. I think you’ll find most, if not all, of the poems that I feel have been written with any complexity are about Loss, Grief, Absences, the spaces between the bright lights and noise. I find a great complexity in darkness (note: not Darkness. I have no desire to explore those complexities.). In fluff and the lightness of being I find a certain shallowness. Indeed, I’ll go so far to say that it is incredibly difficult, nigh unto impossible, to find a complexity that does not have, in some part, a basis in Loss or Pain.
3. The above revelation also made me realise my view on life. Namely that the great sadnesses (plural, I’m neologising) and the great pains of life give depth, variation, and more importantly, meaning. As I wrote in, I think it was number 25, Desert Children, “How else can one know of a Price/Except to feel its Cost” (and whoa, is it a weird and new experience to quote myself). Which in a moment of self-reflection, led me to a point in myself like discovering gold on the bottom of a shipwreck; something bright and tough inside me that sparks the simple mantra: “it gets worse so it can get better”. I know a lot of my poems seem sad and distraught, but understand that I see depth in them. The toughest times make the most beautiful souls. People like Nick Vujicic and that lady with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva who still loves life. That’s just how I see it.
4. Spoiler alert guys: writing a poem a day is HARD.
5. If I may borrow something from this oatmeal comic which says a lot of things, but specifically this bit (I’m borrowing a second bit a little later): “inspiration isn’t something you can schedule, harness, or control“. Damn right. There are nights where nothing comes out literally nothing at all and it feels like I’m one of the monkeys in the proverbial infinite room, waiting to bang out Shakespeare. And sometimes, on those same nights, after I feel like I crapped out something that could be considered poetry if you weren’t wearing your contacts and sort of squinted at it out of the corner of your eye, I go to bed and in the moments before I sleep, I get the most amazing idea for this epic Sestina involving jellybeans and unicorns and the meaning of Pants and BAM. Asleep. On the plus side, I’ve found that certain things help me write, or aid the rising of inspiration. Quiet, for one. For another, food. Food is good. They’re one letter away from each other for a reason. Good follows food ^^
6. There are words I can spell on my keyboard, but not with a pen. I don’t even mean with spellcheck, I mean that some words are hardwired into muscle memory that I either can’t remember it, or can’t remember it without imagining typing it.
7. The second thing I’m nipping from that oatmeal comic (oatmeal is so awesome) is this entire chunk about how inspiration is not a pool but a river that I’m way too lazy to transcribe so I’ll put it in my words. I used to worry that inspiration was like a pool, or a puddle, and every time I wrote I’d draw from it. It would refill by itself, but that usually took time, so after writing something I considered ‘good’ I’d need a break so the pool could refill again. Thing is, writing a poem a day doesn’t really let the pool ‘refill’. So every night, after writing, I’d get this feeling of “that’s it. I’m done. I’m never writing anything of depth or value again”. But I soon realised that this just isn’t true. Inspiration isn’t a pool, it’s a river. Yes, it has its seasons; Monsoon, where ideas are just spilling out, and Desert, which was the inspiration for number 19, Parched; but it always flows. Even parched, which was mostly me ranting to myself about how I couldn’t write that night, in retrospect, isn’t as bad as I thought it was. Some nights you get into the river and you catch the tiniest minnow and you try and make the most of it (hint: it usually isn’t much), but some nights you get into the river and you catch entire schools of tuna (oh look at me and my extended metaphors. And don’t tell me you don’t find schools of tuna in rivers IT’S A METAPHOR). Point is, it always flows, you just need to catch the right thing and ride it out.
8. Some people like free form poetry (without any meters or rhyme), and some people like metered, rhyming poetry. Number 21 and 22, Sonnet to the Night and Night II were sort of like experiments in this, and I was surprised that there doesn’t seem to be a clear demarcation of who likes what. People just like things. Huh. Who’da thunk.
9. I like writing. I really do. I’d love to do it as a full time thing but there’s little financial stability in that unless you’re really good/famous. The two are not synonymous. And of course, financial stability is what matters in Singapore. Maybe after I’ve made worked hard enough and made enough that I can leisurely write, I’ll do it full time. But it is on my bucket list to publish a book before I die. If it has to be self-published, so be it, but my love for words has to have its end.
10. I tend to prattle/ramble.
So, to the 6 or so of you who’ve made it through to the end, thank you for taking the time out of your day. If the 6 of you would be so kind as to express, either on this post or on the individual posts themselves, which poems you liked most, I would be infinitely grateful. I am serious about taking some of these back out and polishing them, I just need to know which ones.
I’ll also be putting up some of my older stuff on this wp. In the mean time, I’m gonna let my creative juices get a little more juiced back up. I’ll definitely continue writing here, so don’t leave me alone :3