Releasing poetry feels like a very vulnerable act and I often wonder what people see when I set a poem loose. I’ve always felt that people assume poetry comes from the thoughts and feelings of the poet, be they an observation of the world or the self, both can be telling in their own ways.
I guess this points to my own early thoughts on poetry. I didn’t understand that their potential was so much larger than “truth” and that poets largely lie, even when starting out with the truth. Sometimes the truth is hidden in what’s not said, life and circumstance often bigger and more encompassing than a poem can really contain.
I’m willing to bet even the confessionals took artistic license with the telling of their “truth.” They knew how to dodge and shift and leave you wondering what parts are real and which are for dramatic or linguistic effect. A question which one can only answer with a yes. Any good poet chooses every word for dramatic or linguistic effect, sometimes making truth a bystander in the pursuit of capturing an emotion or vice versa.
Sometimes, I no longer recognize the seeds of the truth from which these poems are grown. Some capture a moment in time, others the specific emotion I was feeling. None tell the whole story. All are colored by the stain of time and my own myopia; a condition which all human’s suffer.
You weren’t much to look at, but you knew my beat. Found each other irresistible between the sheets. Your love of this fat bottomed girl only brought you shame. I refused to stay your backdoor babe. Your myopia I could not change.
by Michelle Beltano Curtis
All Rights Reserved. “Drummer Boy” may not be reprinted without permission of the author.