Where do writers go when they no longer want to write, because I’d be the first to head there right now. I am not used to venting out my frustrations on social media. I am trying hard to keep my personal life out of people’s faces (as if they don’t have problems of their own), but when I took to twitter last night to vent, I realized how deeply I had been cut. I have reached the point where my mouth has become sore from keeping mute over issues that are highly upsetting.
Why am I pissed? I’ll tell you why. I have just endured 48 hours (my most recent one) of people telling me which direction my ‘crooked little life’ should be headed. As usual, I’ve had a few more people giving me ‘the look’; that look of ‘is there something wrong with you?’
Trust me, I have tried, many times, and I am still trying to veer off the ‘Poets vs. Spoken Word Artists War’; who is more superior, who is nonpareil, who is larger, and for very good reasons.
For starters, I feel it is total nonsense that people would want to put the two up against each other for the mere purpose of egotism and narcissism. I don’t have to tell you the number of times I have endured nose turn up, and the ‘oh so you don’t perform?’ look like it were some deficiency, some disease, some STD, some sin!
And to crown it all, the ‘what kind of a poet are you then’ line. Excuse me? What kind of a poet am I? Probably the kind who wants you out of her face right now. If it bothers you so much that I’m not on stage then why don’t you go up there yourself and have a blast while you’re at it instead of sitting here, giving me a 30 minutes lecture—which clearly I didn’t ask for.
I have immense respect (hat off) for spoken word artists and performing poets. I could mention a few I really like, but let me stay off that chart right now.
When a ‘random’ person thinks and feels you are doing it all wrong because what you are doing is ‘unknown’ to them, or they can’t appreciate it enough, then there is a problem.
Why should someone going on a stage to perform poetry upset you? And why should someone just choosing to write poetry upset you? What is this needless struggle for supremacy and superiority for? Can’t we all just do what we love to do without having to drag anyone down into the mud just so we can feel better about ourselves?
There’s a lot we writers have to deal with, not only in our part of the world, but everywhere else for that matter; the thing about we going hungry because ‘being a writer cannot and will not put food on our table’. Well maybe it isn’t food I’m looking to have on my table. Maybe I’m just not (that) hungry.
If writing is about showing off, building walls, and placing people in boxes then maybe I should stop writing. Maybe we all should. Because I find it totally against the purpose of the art.
This struggle isn’t real. What’s real is people stressing others with their road markings and their perception of how others should live their life.
It is very sad and disheartening to see young people ‘stop growing’ because of this false sense of arrival. Which is in fact, one of the major causes of stagnation in the life of many creatives today. A little recognition and they become larger than the skies. Why focus on developing their talent when people are singing their praises?
I get it. You are the deal right now, and you are living the life (hopefully you are). But dude, can you take your over-accomplished pedestrian life out of my face right now and let me continue doing the things I love to do just because I love to do them.
You don’t have to ‘feel bad’ for me that I am not ‘performing’ my poetry. You don’t have to ask me to pay you so you can perform my poetry. And you certainly don’t have to give me a performance timeline. That decision and a couple more should be determined by me, just me, and nobody else. Can we respect each other’s space? Above all, can we respect the art? A good friend of mine once said “There’s no one way of being a poet. The fact that some people don’t understand this means they don’t understand poetry or art.”
It’s just that. Really! And I’m done.