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On Poetry....

Just read something in ambyguity's journal that got me thinking... about poetry, and my poetry and how i write...

I guess I'm, as i saw it termed once, a natural poet... Verse sort of drifts into my head... but usually it takes something to trigger it...

OK, let me explain a little more clearly...

There are generally two ways in which my poems happen...

The first kind, I am sitting talking to someone and it'll appear in my head, like it's etched in brass and all i need is to a rubbing and there i have a nice new poem.... those are the easy ones to write... and the rarest... I have maybe two or three like that. And they tend to be the happiest.

The second kind are less complete... they grow from from a few lines that will hurl themselves against my consciousness... and keep hurling themselves until my brain hurts... like they absolutely *have* to get out of my brain and onto paper or computer. Generally, if I'm near one, they go on computer... and if it's not my machine, they get emailed to me... and then they get written down when i'm more with it (they have a habbit of occurring to me in the middle of the night...), I'll sit and try to make a poem from the words... to sculpt a verbal portrayal of a half-remembered thought.

Most of my poetry comes from this sort of thing... I guess the term is inspiration...

I do write the "hard" way... I sit down sometimes and I write something because I want to write it, not because I'm inspired. But I find that very difficult to do. I guess
that's because the majority of my poems are, hmm, instinctual... they come from inside me, from somewhere deep and generally dark and hidden...

So I guess I know what ambyguity's saying... "anyone who churns out poems is not a poet. it's about the toil."

From what I've said, it sounds like i write poetry dead easy... i don't. it's hard... the inspiration thing doesn't happen often... i love writing... but it's very hard to tear words from your soul when you don't have something there to work from...

Most of my poetry is personal... and alot of it is themed around wonderfully fun topics like death, loneliness, depression and suicide... with unrequited love taking a supporting role... and a few more descriptive ones hovering around as bit players...

I guess that's the real downside to the inspiration process.... you generally get inspired about what's going through your head... you don't have flashes of happy summer days when your in the depths of depression and all you really want to do is die....

The personal poems... they contain bits of me... my thoughts and intentions over the past... eight years or so... memories of sitting in a park in Edinburgh... or sitting with my arms
sliced open and bleeding heavily... sometimes i don't think my words adequately describe my feelings at those times... they skirt around the edges, but they never really hit home.