defending the poem

by jenniferbalboa

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I admit that I am hurt a little, actually die a little, every time I hear people say “I don’t like poetry.”

Especially when I hear it from fellow writers and readers.

I heard it just a few hours ago again.

I am not new to people dissing poets and poetry and poems.

And I have been told oh so many times that I won’t make it because I’m a poet, or that I won’t make it as a poet.

Actually, I used to hear worse almost on a daily basis when I worked back in the courthouse. There I have heard fellow workers say that poems are useless, and that poets are all loony and useless. Summary execution every blessed day.

But how can that faze me? I had the same accusations. I’ve beaten them to beating me up, if they only knew.

But I just had to give in to the music. I made a choice.

And what do they know? What do they know about this life? So, really, what can I hold against them? They just made a choice too.

Perhaps I am just expecting a little more from fellow writers – tolerance? Pitiful. I am taking no less than freedom.

And a poet can never expect, as much as it is futile to defend him.

Because the poem is his defense. More than that, the poem is his affirmation. In all its clumsiness, and difficulty, and stubbornness.

So where the fuck is your poem, girl? This is what you are answerable to.

Funny thing is, I love them despite their judgements. Maybe that’s why I get hurt. Gluck has written something like that, she said something like the pain does not really say you are unloved. She said it means that you love.

Actually, I’ve been in this similar spot last year, when I had to defend love before them. I wrote that somewhere here…

Long live you useless loony beat up loving creature, please stay strong. Not really to prove the doubters wrong. Live for the song.

Here, have a drink, here you go, in the house, from the piano player who pleads not to be shot, but shoots straight to your mush – cheers!

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