I’m going through that phase again.
That Crappy Poetry phase.
I’m not a poet , I constantly remind myself, lest I make a mockery of the art and myself.
But in going through the phase an urge develops much like an itch in the crotch, to fill up scraps of paper with alliterative analogies and rhyming sonnets and rhythmic couplets and unintelligible haiku.
Here is my latest debacle…
Oh Heart! Do not misbehave
as you reminisce once again,
Do not flutter,do not falter
for it once lingered on my skin,
a touch so precious like warm glowing embers
that smoldered deep within
The memory of her face,
of that sweet secret place,
it’s warmth kept many winters at bay (sigh audibly for effect)
Hey, did you know that I wrote songs as a kid ?
Yeah…All I needed was a tune…I’d make the rest up myself, lyrics and all.
Wanna hear the cockroach song?
I made it up after hearing a jingle on Tv.
I need to stop this madness…
I need a distraction that will stop me from thinking.I’m addicted to reading because it stops me from thinking…thinking all those thoughts that have no use and cause too much grief.
Here we go again…(oh No ! Not again!)
I was lost.
I used to think she’d save me.
But she confessed that she too needed saving.
She was lost too.
I told her about the famous myth from Plato‘s Symposium;that People were hermaphrodites until God split them in two, and now all the halves wander the world over seeking one another.
Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.
We were but lost in this vast sea of chaos , searching for our other halves…
But we would not enmesh perfectly with each other.
We weren’t meant to.
But this was as close as I could get to perfection.
So would she consider my unworthy self to be worthy enough ? I enquired meekly…
In reply ,She confessed that she too needed saving…But not by me, but rather she needed to be saved from me.
Ah…the stabbing pain of semantics! The grief that then lingers like the scent of a loved one, now long gone.
Grief is addictive, they say.
What’s going on in the grief stricken person is this: we are seeing ourselves with the loved ones who are now gone, and unavailable somehow.
Our response called”grief or “sense of loss” is a complex response to being dissociated from those memories.
It’s when we reminisce about our ninth birthday…when we blew all the candles and wished for something petty- a toy, and not for love, comfort or happiness.
It’s when we see our loved ones and ourselves having a good time, and feel empty because we are not there in the picture.
And we do it over and over again, till it becomes second nature.
Grief is a form of practised suffering.
She confessed that she needed to be saved from me.
Not by me.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but semantics…sweet Stabbing Semantics.
Your words, their agony and antics …You’ve got me on my scabby knees.
I was disgusted at my own weakness and decided to let her live in peace and without fear.
But she was addicted to me, as I was to grief.
We both wouldn’t let go.
Stop what you’re doing to yourself.
No good can ever come of it.
If you don’t stop it, I’m gonna beat the pulp outta you till you promise to stop for good)
Dr Freud: As far as I can see, it is not oedipus complex.In fact it is not related to sex at all.
The patient has confessed that he has a very asexual notion of love…i.e love without any lust or sin.
He believes that love and sex are entirely independent of each other.
A peculiar notion for such a young man and not a particularly a useful one in case he ever wants to start a family, or a rather good excuse to start an extramarital affair.(I just slept with her honey, but I’ll always love you and no one else)
So since there is no sex involved,my particular brand of psychotherapy is not very helpful here.I would have suggested that he resolve his issues with his mother, but having met both of them on several occasions, I have to conclude that on the surface they don’t seem to have any major issues.
But if you dig deep enough , you’ll always unearth some issues.If not, I can create some now and resolve them later.
In my opinion,the patient has schizoid tendencies.My student Wilhelm…I mean Dr.Reich is an expert in that field.You should be talking to him , not me.
Let me explain.
The patient tells me that he hears these stories in his head.That alone should make him a prime candidate for a full frontal lobotomy.Other symptoms are that he constantly merges truth with fiction and constantly blurs the borders between what is real and what is unreal.For example, for anyone who knew him as a kid, it would be apparent that he’s telling the truth about writing songs.He has sung a few of his childhood compositions to me.These songs employ childish humour,double entendres and other simplistic wordplay while retaining the general melodic structure of the original song.
But the next part is entirely a piece of fiction.
For one, the patient has confessed that he has never read Plato’s Symposium, much less having told it to his unrequited love.
He simply found the quote somewhere and decided to use it in this particular context.But since he merges truth with fiction so frequently, it is almost impossible for a casual reader to make that fine distinction between fact and fiction.
He uses de-individuation constantly.He writes in first person and never names all the other characters in his stories.By not naming anyone,including himself, he creates blank template personalities for the readers to fill in.In this way, the reader is invited to imagine himself or herself as one of the characters of his stories.
I’m told that seance mediums and other charlatans employ the same trick among others, to fleece the gullible.
It is said that every artist, writer, poet writes about himself, because he is limited to that point of view forever.So you see recurring themes & motifs in various authors, poets , musicians- and with time and enough sensitivity and with enough familiarity, you can recognise the signature piece of every artist.
Haruki Murakami’s stories of unrequited love,being a third wheel, an empty life, an indescribable longing for something more, and the sudden denouement are his signature styles.
Similarly, this is this young man’s signature style.He has taken a single memory of something that has never occurred and wrung it out again and again over time to produce what you see in front of you now.Most of his stories have never happened, but he is delusional because he believes that if they were to happen, this would be the only way it would happen.
One of his most strongly held beliefs is that no matter how good he becomes, eventually he will be rejected, but that does not stop him from improving himself.In fact, this belief only makes himself propel harder at excelling himself.He does not fear rejection…he expects it every time and if not he engineers rejection in some way so that he can still hold on to his belief.
Thus he too is stuck with being somewhat repetitive, but at the same time safely familiar and oddly endearing.
His is a story that is so unremarkable that it is all too real and all too possible.
It could have happened with anyone, especially with young men with no particular success with women.It could also have happened with any beautiful girl who has faced a host of such luckless and pathetic men.
The structure is ingenious that it would apply to both genders-masculine and feminine equally.I’m not calling him a genius though.I think it’s just beginner’s luck.
The patients story would also appeal to a casual reader because of one particular reason which I’d like to elaborate.
The patient makes a remarkably insightful comment that he is addicted to grief.In my knowledge, a cigar can be a penis,and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but almost everyone is drawn to grief like a moth to a flame.
The casual reader,whose life, the patients story does not echo, can also benefit from the brief and impersonal catharsis that he or she undergoes along with the protagonist of the brief story.I would say that it is almost like having a small cry just to feel lighter inside.
The patient confessed to me that he didn’t actually want to post this as he had written it over two years ago because he fears that it can hurt some of his readers.But he wants his crappy poem, pardon my scatological reference, to see the light of day.He claims that he wrestles with his literary desires and moral obligations constantly.
I assume that anyone who thinks these stories echo their own lives are going to endlessly torture themselves.
I hope god be with their tormented souls.
If not, I can always talk to them about penis envy and oedipus complex.
Uh…Thank you Dr.Freud for such an illuminating insight on your patient.
Dr.Freud:Please call me Sigmund…Doctor Freud sounds so stuffy.
Tell me one thing though doctor…er, Sigmund…Have you ever met a blonde kid with blue eyes who says “I see dead people”?