I am a poet. I have been, since as long as I can remember. I formally started writing poetry at the age of 14, inspired by the death of my hero, John Lennon. Prior to that, my best friend and I wrote song lyrics about silly crushes we had on boys in elementary school. I guess that’s when the poetry really started. I have self-published three books of poetry that really didn’t sell. I mean, friends and family bought them, but I am totally clueless how to market to the public. I didn’t make much money nor did my words travel very far.
I belong to some poetry groups on social media. It’s been so long since I have actually posted a poem on one of those group pages. I keep them to myself mostly. Occasionally, I read them out loud to my girlfriend, who writes poetry as well. I think her poems are better than mine. Her words can actually rip your heart out sometimes. This is the effect she wants. I don’t really know what anyone thinks of my poetry. Lately, I keep it hidden. Sometimes I feel like nothing I write is worthy so I just don’t share it as much anymore.
I remember when I first discovered poetry. I have read the classics, the Victorians, the Beat Poets, Bob Dylan, Rod McKuen, and Jim Morrison. They were all rock stars in their day. Where are all of the poets now? In this age of technology, everything that was once of literary importance seems to no longer matter. It’s rare to see anyone these days opening a book and thumbing through its pages. Now it’s just swiping left to turn the page or plugging in headphones to listen to someone else’s voice drone out the written word because as a society we are too lazy to actually read and comprehend literature by actually taking the time to read an honest-to-god paper book. (Or we just wait for the movie to come out.)
I have to “feel” my poems before I create them. Whatever is happening in my life or in the world around me affects my words profoundly. I believe in romance, when others find it archaic and extinct. I pour my heart and soul into each stroke of the pen. Yes, I still hand-write everything in notebooks and journals. I like the control it gives me to form words and thoughts to convey deep, rich, picturesque, emotion.
I can write both left-handed and right-handed. Each style of handwriting differently creating sentences, verses, paragraphs, like vivid pen and ink pieces of carefully crafted works of art.
How can the poets of today start a revival? How can they be heard? I want to stand at a microphone in a smoky bar room or coffee shop and release my words into the air as eyes look upon me and hang on my every word. I want the stage lip guts to make me perspire as I accentuate the emotion behind the words. i want to hold index cards in my sweaty palms and read my life to a crowd of those who came to that place specifically to hear eviscerating poetry I lay out on the table before them. I want to hear the applause as the final word hangs in the air.
Those place don’t exist so much where I come from. They’re hidden and difficult to find. I would love to find a place that had poetry readings more than once a month. I would love to develop a following. I would love to meet like-minded poets and artists.
I wish there was a way to gain the attention of society today, have them awakened again to the written word. Educate them about the worth of poetry and poets, and show them the written word on paper, not on a computer, phone, or tablet screen. Have modern poetry taught in English classes again, like it was when I was in high school.
As for today’s music... good, poetic lyrics are few and far between. Society has become superficial and completely “dumbed-down.” No one can comprehend intellect or the beauty of the words that can convey gut-wrenching, raw emotion.
I say poets unite and be heard again. Start a poetic revolution. Shout your words in the streets. Fight to be published and promoted. Don’t allow your soul to collect dust in the back of a discount book store. Bring it to the front. Put it on the best-seller list. Teach your children to respect poetry, write poetry, read poetry, and share poetry. Bring back the rock star poets to stand in the spotlight again. Don’t let poetry die off like the dinosaurs and become crumbling fossils. Stand up, be heard. Breathe life back into this world full of turmoil and ignorance. Repaint the landscape with the short, colorful bursts of poetic verse. Enrich the masses. Deliver culture back to where it has dissipated. Help People to FEEL again.