I don’t write poetry much anymore, but I’ll probably dig up some of my old stuff and post it occasionally. Until then, here is the poem that produced the title of this blog.
And finally I must admit
it is not poverty
not broken love,
not the well-told lie of our divinity
that breaks my heart,
but the poorly portrayed heroes,
whose transparent happiness
is usually an escape
not an arrival.
And then who is left
to show us where we might arrive?
Who is left to silence the genius de Sade,
that no truth is more proven
than the truth of our desires,
and what more holy thing is there to obey?
So I will stop looking for heroes,
and I will listen to my strongest desire,
which is to prove
some other truth.
The first writing project that I actually finished was a book about identity and esteem. Since finishing that book, writing seems hypocritical. It is so vain. In its most selfish form it says, “Here I am.” In its most altruistic form it says, “Let me change you.” I rarely feel like saying those things any more.
But I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out what I can do for this world and I am pretty sure that if I have a unique thing to contribute, it involves wrapping words around complex issues, taming them, making them softer and giving more people the opportunity to hold them comfortably and compassionately.
If this is my unique thing to contribute, there is little evidence of it. I have spent my life on a hundred different hobbies and a fairly interesting career, but I haven’t really written enough to find out if writing is a strength. So I’ll practice. Here I am.