Your Life As a Poet
creative nonfiction narrative
Life starts as everyone else’s. You look at form one-way, everyone else looks at it another way. Words form before you like peanuts ground to butter. Words flow like water from the faucet, slow yet steady the drops fall down the page; smashing, colliding, colliding, gradually filling the page. The words fluidly fling themselves effortlessly onto the page. But it’s the drops that hang to the faucet that you desperately wait to fall.
Writing is always about the process; you know this. You are always striving to diligently work. Letting your mind wander is what you do best, as you let your fingers do the talking, and let your mind do the lying. And at this point, who knows but you where the truth lies and where the creative juices fly.
Words land upon the page posing as thoughts that you hold dear, yet never land anywhere near the emotions that you feel inside—past the hurt and silent cries, to the tunnels of feelings that you repress and never even contemplate to peep.
People look at you. “You’re smart,” they say. “You got it,” they say. “Just an empty barrel,” you say, “waiting to be refilled.” So many things are unknown in life now; with this economy who knows what will be, and what won’t be, even by the end of this semester. Nothing seems static any longer, nothing but words. Words. Words. Words. Words are always there to catch you as you…as you…as you…fall.
Words are there to turn from spit that launch off your lips into tips as you utter your words in response. You cannot help but question the words that people whisper. Your feet move you closer as you listen to their jeers. Your words they repeat, your emotions they leer, your voice they insult. Quicker than a kid on a Saturday morning turning on cartoons, lighter than hot breath sucked out of your open mouth in the cold winter night sky.
You wake up every morning knowing you’re different. Different. You don’t wake up ready to conquer the world. You wake up and hit snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. That’s all you want to do.
You want to see where the z-s will take you. You want to know where your mind can make you believe that you are somewhere impossible. You dream to believe you’re someone you don’t see yourself as. You dream like a starving child in a third world country, desperate to get what you need but unsure how to attain it. Dreaming lets you express what you can’t say. It’s like your mind shows you the words that make the visual world bloom, like that greedy caterpillar into the attractive butterfly.
Just like the caterpillar was, you’re yearning—reaching to be that butterfly…consuming, consuming, consuming until you expand into something else. You yearn to imagine, create, and run. Run free from where you are currently stuck within the four walls of this cold room. You imagine your shoes connecting to the ground as if opposite magnets. The crunching sounds of leaves beneath your shoes echo in your mind. The crunch crunch crunching rhythm of leaves is all you hear, as you move your feet to an unknown beat in your head. Boom Boom Chh. Boom Boom Chhh. Boom Boom Chhh.
You see a squirrel pass your vision and automatically your mind flips to present. As your mind focuses on the phantom rhythm your mind places you as the squirrel. Your tiny feet pitter patter, as you spring your small body off a thin wobbling tree branch onto a stable tree trunk, ten times the width of you. That’s when you think of the term Larger Than Life. And then you realize what the contradiction really is for you. Although the tree is larger than how you feel about yourself, your creativity is really what is larger than life. Your creativity glides off your fingertips and out past your lips as your mind works the magic that makes your hands fly as they write the words that you’re feeling inside.
As soon as your toes touch the trunk, your arms effortlessly escort you up the tree. Zigzagging your body up the tree, to the tiptop as you look up to see that beautiful prize; that golden brown dinner, that is laid out before you. Just as you reach for the food your mind snaps you back into the bed that you currently lie on, snaps you back into the world that you are walking in, snaps you into the life that you live; the life of words and visual rhythm. You look before you and see the paper and pen that you rushed from the bed to grab. You look down and see just thoughts and fragments on a page below you. You question who took the words that you wrote, who left only bits.
In truth though, you know where it went. For writing is like a disease slowly eating away at you as your mind ignores the signs of the wall you’re about to face. As your mind ignores the signs, your thoughts come out, cross out, then rewrite as you attempt to shy away from the words, that are starting to stray.
Then your mind clicks and you can’t help but wonder…why am I left in this world so ever-changing like a chameleon, knowing you’re gliding through the pages like a majestic eagle in the sky awaiting your next prey…tensing your arms, prepping to dive on the next unsuspecting target…letting your vicious claws write before you the words that you’re too afraid to utter aloud, but too scared to let them know about…that you are different. You are a poet. And the words that you say can not only change the way others see you, perceive you, but ultimately decide whether to trust you, leave you or forget you…simply as quick as the sighting of a shooting star in the summer night sky. You know just as the warmth will soon be replaced by the cold that you are different and it is not so easy to express the way you feel.
But you like it that way, it’s like a mirage in the desert, you want to believe so bad that what you have is somehow different and will make your life better. But you know the real deal…you know that you read too much into situations like a philosopher at a children’s show, hoping one day to see that clown just as it is…a way to adapt to all situations that are thrown before you and able to deal with what life gives you and be happy…if only for an instant without a fleeting thought. Simply you hope to just be able to accept everything as is and not to forget, as an elephant that what the world gives you is nothing but the tools that you use to build yourself to become all that you can be, just like the army. And that one day these thoughts will mean more to someone, a way to make them believe that they are the way that they should be and to stop living for someone else…just to live and just to breathe as they wish to be.
You know the way that words make you feel. You wish and try to make the words mean to others what they can’t seem to make you feel. It’s because they’re yours, you feel you should believe it, see it and feel it…yet you don’t. It’s part of your mind to always look for beauty. This sometimes includes you and it is those moments that you wish to share with the world, what you have found, and what they too can find. For every time that you’ve felt something great for yourself, you know there are hundreds of people that you’ve met that are dying for someone to see something like that in them.
So in these thoughts—you continue to push your mind to create, your fingers to write, and your words to make someone feel like there is something to grab onto and hope. Hope for a future they did not know was dangling right before their eyes. And with that, just as your life began, like everyone else’s; you wish that as your life continues to split into parallel worlds away from others. Hoping that you continue to spit the words that slip between your lips and that the only thing to prevent words from slipping your lips is to another’s ears. You want to present their rose loud and clear that filters their imagination. Make them believe and feel as you see in them. For what is the use in speaking, and describing when what you can’t make it real?