About a year ago, when I was sixteen, I entered a poetry competition at my College.
We had to have two poems that we would read aloud.
I read a poem that I had written (and now can’t find) about my Dad and the fact that he never cuts his hair, and Carl Sagan, and the fact that I have no real plan to my life but I love Orwell. It was more of a sort of performance poem (like this but more sort of shambly) .
I won. And I was very pleased but also terribly upset because alongside this sort of performance which the audience seemed to find most amusing (which I in turn thought was really very funny because they must have thought I had made half of it up when I really hadn’t and it is my life), I had entered one of my other more ‘special’ and personal poems. The kind that I spend a long time agonising over. No one seemed to appreciate it at all. Not that I minded that exactly. But I felt that making a joke out of my slightly strange life had gotten more reaction than my heartfelt vulnerability.
Rather like the scene in Indiana Jones which my Dad hates. The scene in which Indiana finds himself in a foreign country faced with a skilled martial artist wielding Samurai swords, and he pulls out his gun and shoots him dead. Of course it’s very funny and I did laugh, but I can’t imagine that the poor guy that spent his life finely honing his Samurai skills very much appreciates being beat over the head with the progression of modern technology rendering his life obsolete. And, of course, I can’t imagine that he was thrilled about being shot in the forehead.
Neither poems are available to read, sadly, so this blog post may seem a little futile. But I have now actually found both poems (and taught myself a very valuable lesson about how correctly labelling word documents and putting them into folders can save oneself a huge amount of time. Especially if one went through a faze of making vague word documents about one’s feelings when one was twelve.) Incidentally, the poem, the one that won, was, as Buddy Glass* might say ”comparable in effect to a compulsory guided tour through the engine room with myself, as guide, leading the way in an old one piece Jantzen bathing suit.” Which pleases me, at least.
I can only apologise for how very wordy this has become. It’s a good job that my main readership is currently my mother, and she is used to this kind of carry-on from me.
For the rest of you, there’s this:
*I don’t mean to be facetious, I just honestly wouldn’t expect anyone to really know who that was, unless you live in close proximity to me, and are consequently subject to me going on and on about him almost incessantly BECAUSE I LOVE HIM.