I need to say, before I write anything on the topic of resolutions, it’s an absolute pleasure to be a guest blogger here at OGAG. I have fond memories of my time writing with you folk and there are not many days go past when I don’t think about you all. Perhaps I should be making a resolution to stay in touch?
On another blog, on the last day of last year, I made a few small promises for 2012.
I’m going to carry on being brilliant.
I’m going to carry on being wonderful.
I’m going to write more poetry.
They weren’t the most earth-shattering resolutions I’ve ever made but I intend to abide by these.
The first two should be easy. I should be able to carry on being brilliant and wonderful without any major problems. I don’t need to quit smoking as I gave that up back in 2010. I don’t have any other vices in large enough quantities that they merit the onerous weight of a New Year resolution.
But I do want to write more poetry. Over the past few years I’ve developed a growing interest in reading, writing and performing poetry. It’s absorbing.
I suppose I’ve always been interested in reading poetry. It’s one of those things we learn when we begin to appreciate the musical cadence of a nursery rhyme that’s sung to us from the lips of a parent or protector.
Similarly, writing poetry has always entertained me. It takes a different set of skills for writing a poem than is needed to write an essay, an article, a short story or a novel. As a writer, I find it’s exciting to use words in such a different way. I’m still using the same computer and the same fingers to type the same words. But I’m putting those words together in such a different way it’s completely unlike anything else I’ve produced.
Performing poetry is another aspect to the delivery of writing that demands a whole new set of skills. When I chose a word for a line of poetry, I find myself shaping it with my mouth, rather than simply thinking it as a thought. I might change the word if it doesn’t feel right as I’m speaking my way through the poem. I might add a line just because one word lends itself to another.
The whole process is exhilarating and fun and it’s presenting me with new and exciting challenges on a daily basis.
One of those challenges is that readers and poetry audiences find it very difficult to disassociate themselves from the poet and the content of the poem. Consequently, I wrote this poem to address that issue.
I Am Not the Poem
By Ashley Lister
Perhaps the biggest problem with my poems
A problem plaguing all of poetry
Regardless of what my poem is about
You think the content is all about me.
So if I write about cross-dressing,
Half of you are second-guessing
How I’m scoping out cheap deals,
On suzzie belts or patent heels
And all of you suppress your snickers,
As you picture me in frilly knickers
Not one of you cites inspiration.
Or says: that’s from his imagination.
And any word I care to chant,
adds further proof I’m deviant.
And I have to say I’m wounded: hurt.
You all think I’m just a pervert.
Or if I dare to broach a subject,
That applies to many men
If I talk about small winkies:
You think the problem’s mine (again).
You’re sitting there with a smug grin.
Convinced my parts are short and thin
And gloating in your own smug thrall.
Assured my bits are wee and small
And whispering that in a pinch.
I’d barely measure a full inch.
And once again I have to say,
You’re only hearing poetry
The difference should be crystal clear:
‘tween who I am and what you hear.
How can I drive this message home?
I am the poet: I’m not the poem
And so I share a risqué rhyme,
about a man whose bedroom time
Is hurried to a point that’s swift
And causes him marital rift
And plunges him to the darkest depths
Of the cruellest emasculation.
You place a hand across your smile:
Let’s laugh at premature ejaculation.
And you turn to me, your grin a flicker
And you joke: the punchline could come quicker
And someone, acting like a tool,
Asks about the three minute rule.
And I have to say:
Writing poems is my profession
There’s not a word that’s self-confession.
Please remember that as I say goodnight
From me: the tiny-togered swift transvestite.