What It Is Not

by HemmingPlay


Let’s talk “Poetry” for a moment.

So many lost lusts,
So many ‘why doesn’t he love me’s’
So many sacrifices of dignity,
Conflations of attraction and connection,
So many confusions of sex and love
So many dear diary’s, soulful sobs, self-pity,
So many anguished tears on so many pillows.
So many tearful gazes over the waters,
Like so many before, like your great-great-grandparents,
As though tears alone justify, define poetry.
As though that’s enough.

So many odes to aimlessness,
So much self-indulgence,
So much teenager-like angst,
So many assumptions that
The most common feelings in the
History of the planet… the galaxy, maybe…
Are at all insightful, fresh, helpful.

I’m sorry for your pain. I am.
But you’ll also have more. Lots more. And you will survive.
Because you’re tougher than you know.
Welcome it. Use it. Grow from it.

My right leg hurts,
I need coffee, kisses, and more…so much more….
I’m getting old and that pisses me off.
I’ve loved deeply and lost, have known death,
I’ve held my babies, watched them grow,
I’ve seen mothers loose theirs.
We win and lose, sometimes more than we gain, it seems.
I’ve been around the track more than once, but in the end
It boils down to this question:
So what?
That’s the question I put to us all.
So fucking what? Everyone has a sad story.
Answer “so what?” That’s what I want.
That’s the task at hand for poetry.

I want more than the lazy, the easy; more than the ordinary,
I want more than common oatmeal,
With or without raisins and sprinkles.
I want to know how those oats grew, and where,
What they felt when they were harvested,
I want to know if they screamed, or just magically
Floated into your bowl, reflections of your sadness.
I want to see why I should care about your oatmeal,
And whether you can see beyond.
I want you to show what’s beyond the
Rustling of your jimmies, beyond being sexy,
Beyond, beyond, beyond.
Jesus, I want you to stop settling for less.
I want you to get knocked down, get up, and get to work
To show what it meant. So what?

There’s no time to waste, you know,
Youth is wasted on the young,
Which I know now, and pass it along.
Maybe you’ll listen, but if you’re like I was,
You won’t get it and will go on
Thinking the world is here just for you,
Thinking that mere deep feeling is enough.
I have a newsflash from the other side, y’all:
It’s not enough. Not by a country mile.
(And stop rolling your eyes).

I want to feel you turning lead into gold,
I want to you show me– not tell me about– a growing soul,
I want you to hunger for something always out of reach
I want you to tap the universal, to move us forward,
I want us all to connect the dots, do the hard work of humanity.
For our own precious humanity, to do the hard work.
I want your poetry to do the heavy lifting
That cannot be found in modern addictions,
I want you to read the best, and emulate them.
Then be better than them.
I want us all to do hard and holy things.

Hard and holy things.
That’s what we signed up for, you know.
Not the ordinary. Fuck the ordinary. 

But most of all, right now,
I want coffee.
And kisses.
And depth.
And more.
So much more.


6 Comments to “What It Is Not”

  1. .Thank you for this ..a perfect pairing with my cup of java ….

  2. Yes, oh yes, I want more, too. I read, “Maybe you’ll listen, but if you’re like I was, you won’t get it and will go on thinking the world is here just for you,” and I remembered a time about five decades ago when that was my mindset. But life has a way of setting us straight, doesn’t it? So much of what you shared here resonated with me: “I want coffee. And kisses. And depth.” Yup… oh, I forgot that cup I put to warm in the microwave! Be right back…

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