NaPoWriMo and me:

A few years ago I discovered NaNoWriMo. Have tried to live by the rules every year since but always ran out of steam. Tried it with Script Frenzy too. Same problem. Writer’s block in both cases. Maybe this will happen with NaPoWriMo. Doubt it though.

Write a poem a day? Piece of piss.

When I was in primary school a student teacher turned up to my school once. By this time my teachers dismissed me as a congenital cretin. I could draw but that was about it. They didn’t bother trying to teach me to read or to do arithmetic or anything else. But that student teacher asked us to write a poem, and he was (or seemed to be) blown away by my little efforts. Compliments from an educated adult? Wow.

I kinda remember what I wrote. For my age it wasn’t too bad, I think. Especially since I was functionally illiterate and never read anything except superhero comics. From about that time I discovered that writing lines that scanned came naturally, and finding rhymes was no problem.

Over the years I have delved into bouts of poetry writing, penning a poem or two every now and then. I tend to do this in short bursts of creativity. As I matured, I developed themes. At least I tried to. I opted for psychological depth, emotional maturity. I tried to make the reader think, laugh and cry. I decided to discipline myself. I tried not to get overly attached to what struck me as a particularly useful rhyme. It may have kept me going, but ended up leading me down blind alleys. Had to retrace my steps. And that useful rhyme was now little more than a piece of garbage, utterly pointless.

Rhyme has always been a tool that I’ve used to get over writer’s block. I reveled in free association, stream of consciousness. Surrealism R Us? But I found I had to impose structure, to edit, to do redrafts, to polish it up for public consumption, not that I have a lot of that. I shove my poems on blogs that have had relatively few readers, and that is okay with me because I am not precious about these poems. If no one else likes them, I am cool with that. I have no means of gauging what a good poem is. I only know what I like. And, unfashionable though it may be these days, I still like rhymes, the old traditional ones, at the end of the line. Am I a philistine or what?

Sometimes I spend a little time and effort on these poems. More often they are little more than word games that help me pass the time, keeping boredom at bay.

Sometimes I have written poems to express friendship of a romantic nature, and sexual attraction. When I do that the only thing that matters is whether she likes it. No one else matters. Most of the rest of the time what I write is written only for myself.

Humor plays a big part in most of my poems, except for those that deal exclusively with tragic themes, typically broken hearts. Even then, I’m not averse to indulging my black humour, and that can be very dark for me.

Surrealist stream of consciousness lends itself naturally to humour, I find. Nonsense poems are where it’s at in my world.

So I probably will manage to write a poem a day. And if I fail? In such circumstances I promise I will give myself a bloody good spanking. That’ll learn me.

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