I always like good poetry, but when I’m a certain sort of moody, I need good poetry; there are times when I need songs, and others when I only want words. More often than not, a line of poetry snakes through my mind and makes like Orobouros till I pay attention properly. The majority of time, the lines come from Pablo Neruda or Osip Mandelstam, and I have to read the poem or continue to host the brainworm. Once I’ve appeased the beast, I end up reading more poems, because I find them immensely soothing. At the end of the binge, I’m calm.
Don’t think I’ve ever seen ‘etc.’ in a poem before.
Words (Anne Sexton)
Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren’t good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.
Après le meltdown… (Idk what gender a meltdown thinks it has).
After a great pain, a formal feeling comes… (Emily Dickinson)
After great pain, a formal feeling comes —
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs
The stiff Heart questions, was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?
The Feet, mechanical, go round —
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought —
A Wooden way
A Quartz contentment, like a stone —
This is the Hour of Lead —
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow —
First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go —
A rather amazingly honest open poem that doesn’t hold personal meaning for me, but which I love – I wonder if whoever it’s about ever read it.
In Paris With You (James Fenton)
Don’t talk to me of love. I’ve had an earful
And I get tearful when I’ve downed a drink or two.
I’m one of your talking wounded.
I’m a hostage. I’m maroonded.
But I’m in Paris with you.
Yes I’m angry at the way I’ve been bamboozled
And resentful at the mess I’ve been through.
I admit I’m on the rebound
And I don’t care where are we bound.
I’m in Paris with you.
Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame,
If we skip the Champs Elysées
And remain here in this sleazy
Old hotel room
Doing this and that
To what and whom
Learning who you are,
Learning what I am.
Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris,
The little bit of Paris in our view.
There’s that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I’m in Paris with you.
Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris.
I’m in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I’m in Paris with your eyes, your mouth,
I’m in Paris with… all points south.
Am I embarrassing you?
I’m in Paris with you.
This is a poem that I read more than once, every single time.
Sonnet ix: There Where The Waves Shatter (Pablo Neruda)
There where the waves shatter on the restless rocks
the clear light bursts and enacts its rose,
and the sea-circle shrinks to a cluster of buds,
to one drop of blue salt, falling.
O bright magnolia bursting in the foam,
magnetic transient whose death blooms
and vanishes–being, nothingness–forever:
broken salt, dazzling lurch of the sea.
You & I, Love, together we ratify the silence,
while the sea destroys its perpetual statues,
collapses its towers of wild speed and whiteness:
because in the weavings of those invisible fabrics,
galloping water, incessant sand,
we make the only permanent tenderness.
This diary extract is for people who know about social awkwardness and anhedonia.