I slept through Kipling,
Napped on Dostoevsky,
You think I liked Dickens?
The man who made me listen to
The words of A Tale of Two Slumbers?
Kafka was okay
but not on the day
when the essay was due
and I just knew
what my teacher would say
when I walked away
from turning it in
and to my chagrin
the red marks on the page
looked like a rampage
….I knew it sucked but it wasn’t that bad,
I might add
that I had
a Calc test on that day, too, comrade.
What I’m trying to get across
In a long winded way
Is that school doesn’t let you
Be creative when they say
“write this poem” or “read this book”
It’s an order, not a pastime, and it’s those rules that took
All the joy
I didn’t learn to love the lip of a page,
A pen pursing paper,
The friction that fiction forced me to feel
Until my teacher told me that words are
Not beasts but opportunities.
I was afraid of their teeth when I dug too deep
Into the passion they guard or the pain they keep.
But words don’t bite, they shine on
Strings of empathy that I cling to desperately
Because a life without literature is barren.
My art of choice has always painting.
Words were constraining!
Writing needs training!
And emotions are draining
When you have to spell them out.
I’ve used every excuse to not write,
And I’ve put up a noble fight in spite
Of the fact that poetry ignites me.
It challenges me to unravel this
Tangled ball of brains,
Makes me sit and reflect on what I’d rather forget
And I swear I've got ink in my veins.
But poetry’s not easy,
I erase more than I save,
The words that stave
But force sobriety
Because words make me feel,
Especially when I don’t want to.
I could say “poetry’s my life” or
“I’m SO different” or
“poems write me” but… honestly?
That’d be a lie.
And I’m not a liar.
I’m just a kid who likes words and the sounds they make,
And poetry is a gift that allows me to shake
My muddled brains awake.