Poetry has always been there for me. I may be afraid to upset people, but I have no fears about upsetting a blank piece of paper. I have used poetry to help me through many difficult times.
I am reminded of a time at university, I had the biggest crush on this guy who was doing his Masters on W.H. Auden, let’s call him Beautiful Auden Boy. He was tall, an Oxbridge graduate, and he loved poetry. It was too much. I’d been flirting with him for weeks. My friend Joanne, (we’d known each other for three years and bonded over cooking dinner together and having Costa drinks to mark each season), my two Italian poet-friends who were visiting, and I were at a StAnza Poetry event. We ran into Auden Boy, and I felt a tingle in my vagina. We agreed to meet later at the reggae night at the Student Union. “Gosh, he’s beautiful isn’t he!” “Yes, he is,” Joanne and my Italians agreed.
Later that night, I was dancing with my Italians to the reggae dubstep tunes. Our hips swayed and swerved to the gyrating beat, as my eyes scanned the room. I kept hoping to see him, imaging his hands on my body and the Auden poetry he’d recite to me over wine as we slowly fell in love. And then I saw him. He was just as gorgeous as I remembered, his pale skin glimmering in the hazy neon lights. But he was making out with Joanne.
My vision became red and my insides ached, and I began to cry. I’d had two vodka shots, when I definitely should have had one, and the tears would not stop. They came from somewhere deep inside me, as my Italians hugged me. Vera, comforted me by saying, “It’s okay Sammy, at least you have poetry.” But I didn’t want poetry, I wanted to be loved.
To me, poetry is a consolation prize. It’s what you get when you don’t get what you want; it’s what you get when you don’t get respect. I’d much rather be happy than write poetry, but so far life has handed me lemons. And when life hands me lemons, I make poetry.
Although, I rarely publish these poems or show them to people, I have written over 300 of them. The only person who has seen most of them is my sister. Because I couldn’t be there to support her during the difficult experience that is high school since I was at University, I organized all my high school poems by theme, and wrote an essay for each section where I shared with her all the things I’d wish I’d known. I gave it to her as a graduation present.
Now that I’ve started to value my own thoughts, I feel ready to share these poems with you – to hear what you think and see if you have also had a similar experience.
So, here it is “The Ecstasy of Nothing.” I wrote it March 2016. It’s been over three years, and I’m finally ready to share it. I’d love to hear what you think or if you’ve had a similar experience.
The Ecstasy of Nothing
Last night vodka made mountains out of molehills
As I wept into my glasses
Holding my Italians thinking
Why is life all about sex?
As they made out on the dance floor,
She close friend of three years
And costa treats and carbonara
And he, beautiful Auden boy
Who was going to save me
from the voices in my head, in my head,
As we kissed over poetry and wine.
I saw and world turned red
Let emotions wet me as the
Ground vibrated reggae dub dreams.
And I thought, why is it all about now?
Holding poetry, poetry who has never let me down,yet.
At least I have poetry, Vera said
At least that.
Reminding myself of the big picture
And my belief in friendship and poetry and truth
When all I felt was,
What’s the point?
What’s the point in all this
When people will throw it away
for a fuck,
A fuck now that means nothing
While I keep believing in
A fuck then that will mean everything
As I wept knowing
She will feel bad about it tomorrow
And he will feel awkward about it tomorrow
And I already feel numb.
How many times can you be beat in the chest
Before you are blessed.
Except it wasn’t the end.
As the lights went up
And we rolled away
To after parties and
Cuddled on couches,
And laughed, let go.
Released by the stream
purity of tears,
Sat surrounded by
The dirty, dirty hipsters
That are my friends,
And lost myself in
the ecstasy of nothing.
Read the next post in the series, “High Desire for Sex”
Check out the full list of blog posts, “How to Value Your Own Thoughts”