Thursday, August 7, 2014

I hate

I hate being a poet…and by hate, I mean love.        
And by love, I mean
that I am compelled,
driven here. 
I hate that I can’t write about Israel,
or sunsets and daisies,
or in the voice of Sophocles.
I hate that I still write best
in the language of a teenager full of angst − and by best,
I mean, I’m most satisfied.  I hate that I write poems
      to you
and that I write poems about writing poems. 
That emotions more than imagery crowd the page,
panting.  That I forget that moods aren’t facts.  I hate
the need – the greed for words.  I hate
that I tend to complicate with forced routine.  I hate
that I’m readable and relatable and I hate
that I just presumed that.  I hate that I’m confessional. 
I hate that I’m not more academic, scholarly, referential,
clever or elusive.  I hate that that’s a fact.  I hate
that I worry I’m meant to write not poems
but rather drivel in a diary
and that I want to wring the little neck of Philomel.
Most of all, I hate that I sling words like hate and words
like love around.  That I’m a typical fill-in-the-blank. 
That I’m an adult child always waiting for the other shoe
to drop, seeing things in only black or white. 
That I’m an alcoholic thriving in one
of only two extremes: chaos or that damn
short-lived pink cloud state. 
I hate that I’m a co-dependent who’s ill-at-ease
to think the honeymoon is over
so now I’m writing angsty teenage poems
instead of cleaning the bathroom like a good wife
would.  I hate these labels
and that I fit them
so damn well.  That the evidence is in.  I hate that I give
myself up and away with this need, this greed for words. 
I hate that I’m an ego-maniac with an inferiority complex
and that I can’t tell you outright
that I still feel jealous of other women
and that I start and finish stupid poems about you
looking.  That when we’re in what we like to call a funk,
I won’t admit
that I don’t want you to take that part-time job
because I worry you’ll run off.   I hate that the economy
has tanked and that we’re broke.  That real life
gets in the way of playing house and that our kids,
most days,
scare the shit out of me−meaning, the amount
and also
the responsibility.

baby, I love you
and maybe that’s all that counts.

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