Friday, April 6, 2012

Wonderful Writing, Episode 1: Flashback Poetry

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Years ago, as in all of high school and then through my first few years of college, I loved poetry.  Both soaking up the lyrical genius of published poets and trying my hand at writing some of my own.

In a recent conversation with a friend about his poetry, it occurred to me that I haven't written a poem of my own in just about five years.  Not only that, but it has hit me like a brick to the head that I stopped all things poetry related just around the time when things got serious with the STBX.  I wonder if the timing correlation holds any meaningful significance?

Regardless, I'm going to get back into creative writing by starting a "Wonderful Writing" series here on my blog. I'm a wee rusty with the whimsical wording, so some of these episodes may seriously suck and you are free to comment whenever you see fit with a message of something similar to, "Um, pull the plug on this idea, Phenom, before you embarrass yourself any further." Or, you can just give me a big thumbs down and throw a viral version of a tomato at me.


For my first episode of this series, I've pulled up a poem that I wrote in May of 2004. That's right; almost eight years ago. I was 22 and my college apartment had recently been robbed and ransacked.  My roommate was also studying abroad at the time, so I was home alone every night. I was also single and had been for well over a year; and I was still heart broken all that time out from a break-up with the man who had been my first real, adult love and my longest relationship.

I was really alone.

I remember that I slept with a hammer very close to my bed. Sometimes, I even fell asleep with it in my clutches. I also remember the months surrounding this time to be the most insomnia-wrecked of my life.

The loneliness was so suffocating, I couldn't shake it off efficiently enough to fall asleep at night.

I think I was also scared out of my wit.  Scared of the real, imminent danger of being robbed again because I lived in a sketchy area of a big city -- alone -- and if I had been robbed once, what's to say it wouldn't happen again?  But, I think I was also scared of my future. College graduation was a semester or two away and I had no idea what lay ahead of me in my career, in love and in life in general.

I never gave the poem a title:

welcome to a world
of solitude and fear
I sleep with a rusty hammer
so you had better steer clear
of my house, my heart,
my beautiful brain,
I don't trust men or criminals
we all know they are the same
out for my stuff, my belongings,
my heart, and my tears
I cuddle with my tumultuous past
that feeds my perilous fears

I don't come here to ask for your sympathy
no I don't even want an extended hand
get your bitten cuticles away from here
for the sight is more than my stomach can stand

see, I feel as if
I'm trying to cut off
my left arm,
with my left hand,
while lying on the left side
of all the beds I've been in
but I'm right-handed
and nothing is right in my heart or my mind
so I keep sawing at myself with a spoon
hoping I won't need a rusty hammer
beside me some night soon

All these years later and some of my writing still applies now that I am facing divorce (the first part of the last verse or stanza, especially). I am proud to say that this time, however, at this stage of my life -- I am not scared of the unknowns of my future, even if my past perplexes me in some ways.  I still have no idea what may lay ahead of me in my career, in love and in life as a whole, ... yet I am not scared.  Nor am I lonely even though I am "alone" (romantically at least, because I do have my C-Man and my J-dog).

I am at ease with myself at the present date.  I am very proud of this.  It is amazing to look back on my own writing from so long ago and see how much I have grown and changed; it's as if my personal growth is reflected back to me through my own words.

I no longer sleep with my hand gripped around the cool wood of a hammer like I did all those years ago.  Granted, I do sleep in a fairly safe town these days, instead of a crime-riddled city, and I do share my bed with a 95 lb watch dog, ... but still.

Fear no longer grips me.  Loneliness is not an unwelcome presence in my life at all.

That's truly wonderful.


  1. The poem itself I can see is very from the heart... You run off of your emotions very well and I can see the hurt and fear within the poem and what you were going through both in your romantic life and the fear through the break in... But honestly it is a great poem Phenom... I enjoyed it don't stop writing...

    Your friend

    Ill Grizzly

    1. Thanks. I have a whole folder of stuff I wrote in high school that I came across when I left the STBX and was unpacking from the move. I read through some of it and just shook my head while I was reading as I was in total amazement at how LOST I seemed at 17/18 years old. Like I didn't know who I was yet at all ... and I thought I knew so much then too! Ha! I didn't know anything.


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