Thursday, January 27, 2005

I will not be ignored!

I don't know how much my fragile ego can take in one week. I stumbled, (after a pathetic, long, drawn out afternoon of introspection and dredging up the past I googled an ex lover), on an anthology of poetry that an ex lover of mine wrote and promptly ordered my own copy via Amazon.

The book arrived and I frantically flipped through page after page to find nary a mention of me. I then proceeded to do a careful reading of the introduction and each and every poem. I tried reading with my left eye open, my right eye shut, my right eye open, my left eye shut, reading through squinty eyes, turning the book sideways and upside down, reading the pages as reflected in a mirror...still nothing. Nada. It's as though I never existed.

This wasn't a fling, damn it! We had an intense, romantic, passionate, and oh, yeah, completely fucked up relationship. What the hell? That's the stuff that poetry is made of! How about the three months we lived together...remember that? I was the one you fell asleep next to, the one who watched you sleep, the one you woke next to every morning? Poetry. Remember when we spent an entire afternoon picking wildflowers together and filled our entire apartment with them? Uh, poetry in motion. How about when you delivered a huge basket of strawberries to me after I casually mentioned that they were my all time favorite? What about the time you brought flowers to my little girl and let me sleep in while you made her pancakes? Any recollection of the hours on hours we would spend strolling through used book stores together treasure hunting? How about the times we would stay in bed on rainy days, light some candles, and read one another poetry? All those love letters, poems, shared books, music, art? All the stuff we were sure that mattered and our commitment to freeing ourselves from the television for us, no mainstream films, no faddish book of the month, no top of the charts music,...we were so off the beaten path.... defining ourselves and our own life. We were set apart. Hey, dude, what about that time I went down on you and you came so hard it shot through my nose? Uh, ok, maybe that wasn't a poem.

Whatever! When I get published, I am so not mentioning him. Well, except for the poem that will reveal in breathtaking stanza after stanza the wonder that was his curiously deformed penis.

I'll leave you with bits and pieces of his genuis. From his intro:

I hate poetry. Poetry is like giving birth: brutal, long, nasty. One seven-line poem can demand far more than fourteen hours to deliver. And then you are not even sure it's going to survive. But once the baby is born, a smug satisfaction follows. If the poem is beautiful, you weep. If it's ugly, you turn your back. But like every good mother, you still adore it.

I'll pause here for a moment. WTF? Ladies, evidently, *this* is what it would be like if men were to experience birth firsthand. All I have to say is that he has no freakin clue. I have yet to meet a mother who would explain the birth of her child in these terms. What a complete, clueless jackass. What's more, at the time he composed this piece of work, he was married and a father of two children.


I might write more on this later, but for now I just feel sick. I'll skip to his last lines of wisdom:

Finally, I must be sadistic. I loathe attention. (uh, right. that's why you are putting your insides down on paper for all to read) I have mentioned it before, but I should have burned these poems. What I am doing by releasing this collection is perpetuating those memories and inviting criticism, praise. How dreadful.



Blogger Jenny said...

Oh. My. God.

What a pompous ass. I think you should review him on Amazon.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Aussie Mama said...


Just remember, revenge is a dish best served cold. For all the times he should have mentioned you but didn't, take comfort in the fact, we are but the sum of our past experiences, so while he didn't mention you, you actually created those words him. So smile smugly girl.

I totally agree with the childbirth thing, what a jack ass. Clueless I am sure.

9:39 PM  
Blogger alice, uptown said...

Can you send books back to Amazon? Why give him even the satisfaction of even a 50 cent royalty payment?

One of my ex-lovers (20+ years on-again, off-again) used to write amazing poetry -- I've quoted a fragment in my blog. In college and into our 20s, we discussed poetry, writing, and we had all the hallmarks of a couple who knew each other too well even to ask a question.

I did, and occasionally do, write fiction. At that time, he was afraid I would embarrass him in print. He did that on his very own, in Esquire at some point in the 1980s. I tried not to snicker. After that, I figured (it was a stormy and intermittent relationship), any part of our experience I wanted to use in my writing was my perogative.

I have another ex-lover who is a published poet, and I've never seen myself reflected in any of his work, much to my surprise, while I have seen myself reflected in places I could not have imagined.

As far as your ex's intro goes, I think he is full of shit. When my work sucks, I know it, and I don't join an admire-my-own-crap association to tout its praises. If he loves his bad work equally as his good, who is to say he has any perspective at all? (Obviously all his progeny live in Lake Wobegon, where the children are all above average.)

Google may be your friend, but sometimes, it's just a kick in the ass.

Virginia Woolf has a great line about poets -- to paraphrase, it says, if it is rash to climb St. Paul's, it is even more rash to go home, alone with a poet.

4:20 PM  

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