Where is the Poetry?

      This past week I’ve been burying myself in my readings, and privately writing in my journal flash fiction and poetry. None of which I plan to publicly publish here, for a lot of it I feel is unfinished and needs refining. Although, when I do read whatever clutter of words I have mustered to a friend they tell me it’s fine.

      I’m not sure why but I’ve been quite cynical about things lately, mostly about poetry. For a while now, I felt the art was being unappreciated by both writers and readers. I’ve seen great writers (on WordPress and Tumblr) go undetected, and lesser writers on Instagram get praised. Then again I am measuring their “greatness” through hashtags, at sign mentions, emoji comments, and number of likes.

      I was beginning to hate the current state poetry was in. The stuff I was reading on Instagram felt generic, lifeless almost, and yet people loved it. They would tag their significant other, as if those were the only words that capture their feelings. The subject this poet wrote, who I will not mention, was love. I’m okay with love. Love and I have a good standing, but if you’re going to talk about love make me feel something.

      I know what this looks like: a hate message from a lesser know poet to a well-known poet. But stick with me there is a light at the end of this intolerable tunnel.

      It didn’t help that, around the same time my cynicalness kicked in, I started to feel more and more alone. Not alone in the I need a significant other of the opposite sex, but in the I need to find a group of poets and artist in my community type of alone (Maybe it does help, considering the the book I’m reading dives into that subject matter, but I’ll save that discussion for another time).

      Those two factors are the reason I’ve been so reserved. Instead of calling my friends to see if they would like to grab a cup of coffee or go to the bar with me, I venture out on my own. With me I carry a satchel that contains a notebook and pen, for when the rain of inspiration fall on me, and a few books to read in between the droughts. The solitude has open the door to some of my most interesting writing, I think. Despite the fact it’s a hole I wish to crawl out of and into an other filled with other poets.

      On the night of  March 8, the thought of “poetry is dying” immediately faded away, and was filled with a flickering flame of hope. I went to my traditional coffee shop for my nightly dose of writing fuel. The place was holding an event for International Women’s Day. It was a poetry reading. I walked in at the start of the event. I decided to stick around and listen to their words. I fell in love. I remember writing a poem about it the moment it ended. I remember wanting to buy their books and all of them a beer, but I was broke.

I remember the shock to the heart their words delivered to bring poetry back alive in me.

I guess the question here is: am I being too harsh?


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