YOU ALL. I just found my journal from when I was 17/18. I use the term “journal” loosely, as I never used it as a diary. No, I used it for a far better purpose.
I WROTE LOVE POETRY.
I mean, kind of. I wrote in this odd poetic prose with the occasional poem-poem. Some of what I wrote was true, some of it was fiction. Naturally, I did not distinguish between the two and have NO IDEA who or what I was talking about in most of it.
Would you care for a sample? OF COURSE YOU WOULD.
a black canvas
I painted this to show you
how I feel when I think about you
and when you ran away
and that you never felt
the way that I do
I never could write poetry
but I don’t know how else
to show you the pain you’ve caused
Inadvertently, I know
but don’t think I’ll ever forget
Let’s talk about this a little bit, shall we? I mean, A BLACK CANVAS? Seriously, that’s the best I could do? In my defense, this is one of the few that I’m sure who it’s about, and I had been hung up on him for YEARS with no reciprocation. Or acknowledgment. Or guts to tell him. I know, it’s so tragic. Moving on: “I never could write poetry.” LET ME STOP YOU RIGHT THERE. You are correct. Now stop writing it, for your own sake.
Also it is worth noting that many of the other poems in this book are edited half to death. This one is untouched. Did I think it was perfect as-is? I prefer to believe that I could not stand to look at it long enough to edit. Because it is SO BAD.
Here’s a curiosity:
I want to be the kind of writer
that Lisa Levy is as an artist.
Or, as a writer, be the kind of
artist that Lisa Levy is.
And I want to write songs like
The question is, of course, whether this was meant to be a poem. Was I just noting this idea down, and the line breaks make it look like a poem? WE’LL NEVER KNOW.
And here is a poem that I actually kind of like:
flashing back to 8th grade while sitting on a crowded subway heading downtown to 28th Street
blue plaid pants
a little too big
black t-shirt with nirvana
light-weight plaid shirt
chin length reddish blond hair
newspaper in hand
that certain swagger
oh yes I’d like to be that boy
I mean, I’m not sure what the hell I was talking about, but I like it.
The back of the notebook has an unfinished story in it, written so you have to turn the notebook upside-down to read it. I don’t know if the influence was the new Smashing Pumpkins album (which I’d probably just bought) or Geek Love (which I’d definitely just read), but apparently it’s about Siamese twins connected at the wrist. I declined to read past the first sentence.
Next time, all the love-hate stuff from the beginning of the book, when I was frequently making out with a guy I’d liked for a year and lost interest in the instant he decided he liked me (I was so awesome). Also some haiku.