Winners and Losers in Literature

Ion Luca Caragiale, from Wikipedia.
Ion Luca Caragiale, from Wikipedia.

People love those great romantics

with their self-absorbed delirium

especially if they die of tuberculosis or worse or alone.

But garrets are passé, starving is forever,

and audiences matter.

As long as you don’t let it show.

 

Unnecessary, it seems to me,

your sighing, your plaintive distress.

We know, we’ve been there, no need to tarry.

Mere hint and then whisk over.

Sunlight lingering on a teardrop

Is more effective by far than a November soaking.

 

Madam, if I may… tell you that you whinge

and use a hundred words

where a spatter of six will do.

Your ears so waxed with self-pity and doubts,

your voice so coarsened by years of neglect,

that you forget to listen and render with fidelity,

you lose the joy of using a microscope.

Cut smaller still your canvas,

till you can stitch it to perfection.

Be precious, not so greedy to spit out the half-digested…

Polish your gemstones for years.

Mock, but with purpose,

yourself before all others.

 

And then perhaps some decades hence

you’ll learn to make it look

effortless, spontaneous.

 

Perhaps not quite the right response to the prompt about winning and losing for dVerse Poets, but I am having an internal dialogue with my writing hero, Caragiale, Romanian playwright, journalist and short story writer. Every word perfectly chosen and placed. Unlike my gushing, spouting self. I know I will be a winner when I finally learn to control the rawness and shape the internal world more gracefully.

Who Is It For?

I will be honest with you.  I started this blog without any thought that anybody would actually read it.  I only told two people about it (or that I was thinking about it).  It was more like an online diary, a place for experimentation, a means of holding myself accountable for writing every day.  I would not post every day, because some things take longer to write, but I would know if I was working or not.

It was to be a place of searing honesty.  Somewhere where I wouldn’t be able to hide behing my professional mask, my deadlines, my other multiple roles.  It was to be me vs. myself in the ring, two sumo wrestlers trying to outface each other. Only the opponent counted.

And then I discovered that I was being watched, that there are people reading this.  Complete strangers, some of them.  Who take the time to comment or ‘like’ my outpourings.  I had never dared share my writing before.  I had always been afraid of … being told that I can’t write, shouldn’t write, should stick to the day job etc. etc.  I feel raw as a newly hatched chick, I shiver a little in anticipation.  I am honoured and humbled.  Thank you, dear readers.