I keep listening to the news, thinking I should be doing something logical, something "real." But what? Certainly not writing poems. I so often think of poetry as unreal. And of course, in many ways, it is. I notice this esp. when I try talking about it to non-poets and well . . .
I mean, today I was talking to a repairman who asked me what I write about. I didn't want to say--- I am writing about a stink bug who turns into a man. And the bug is horrified to be human. Yeah. Right.
But the fact is I kind of agree with my stink bug. (Losing reality here, admittedly.) But just thinking about what people do to each other and the planet, it's hard not to be horrified. And, well, like my imaginary stink bug I keep hoping I am just having a bad dream. That some day I will wake up and Trump and the KKK and the White Supremacists and Nazis and the Koch boys and . . . yeah, so many in the current administration, will all be banished. Exiled to some distant planet where I never have to hear about them again. I envision them on a space ship traveling to some distant galaxy.
Often at night I fall asleep, hoping I will wake up to better news. I was thinking of that and, well, Kafka, when I wrote in my piece:
"Perhaps it was just a nightmare," the stink bug reasoned, and with that, he closed his eyes, lay as still as a statue, and tried to fall back asleep.
A while later, he heard birds singing through an open window and he cringed, remembering how a bird once devoured his fellow stink bugs. But then a soft yellow light filled the room, and he felt a brief moment of peace as he remembered that he was safely indoors.
The idea of safety, of being separated from the nightmare, is key in my psyche. As if death and evil is only out there. And reality.
Maybe it was the thought of safety that got me wondering -- trying to decide whether I wanted to be writing about a stink bug or just a boy who suddenly wakes up as a man. Or a girl who suddenly becomes a woman--
remembering how terrifying an adult can appear to a child. And not just physically.
I remember thinking, back when I was a kid, how creepy adults were, always obsessing about power and money and fame and I don't know--so many boring things. I hated how grownups sat around drinking, never moving much, never really playing, never being any fun, never seeming to have much fun either.
Maybe that's one thing we get to do as poets--have fun, imagine, dream . . . I mean, seriously. I sometimes think it should be illegal to have this much fun.