Friday, 1 April 2011

so maybe sometmes 'not quite good enough' is better than nothing at all...

 “National Poetry Writing Month (also known as NaPoWriMo) is a creative writing project held annually in April in which participants attempt to write a poem each day for one month.” (Wikipedia)

So... I realised recently that January was the last time I actually finished a poem. January!  That's over two months ago!  Since then, I've started stuff, scribblings in various note-books, but never finished, as I tell myself 'I don't quite have time yet', or 'I need the right space' etc etc ad nauseum.  And all along, the truth is actually more that I'm just terrified of just allowing for the messiness of producing stuff that’s just not as good as I think it could be, and so, just ending up not bothering at all (there’s a lot of ‘just’ in that sentence…). 
I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist, exactly,  but I’ve grown up with constant repetitions of ‘what’s worth doing at all is worth doing well’ (resounding in my head, nearly always in the deep and mellow Nigerian tones of my Dad).  I guess somewhere along the way, I internalised that to some degree - hence never ironing my clothes (no time to do it properly!), and never writing anything unless I have a huge amount of time to sit and devote to it, and think and think again, and edit and… (unless of course there’s a massive flash of inspiration, and I write it all in about 5 minutes - but that’s kind of rare).

So anyways,  when I heard about this month, and the challenge, I figured I’d give it a go.  It’ll be a way of fighting my OPCD demons, but also of just getting into the habit of writing more.  At the very least, maybe it’ll have that monkeys/typewriters/Shakespeare effect (yes, I know this isn’t actually true, but go with me here).

So, to start off, I threw all caution (and notepads) to the wind, and have just typed the below straight to laptop (up until my third degree, I still hand-wrote all essays before typing…).  This is possibly why it’s so short.  Contains a line form the Beautiful South song, Keep It All In.

- Fatalistic Zen - -

sigh and fume
smile and nod
bite tongue til it bleeds
that's the way the british roll
the english way
stiff upper lip, first raised, then curled
unintentionally clenched hands unfurl

sigh and fume
smile and nod
bite tongue til it bleeds
that's the script, nigerian girl
the african way
full lips drawn thin, short nails meet palm
hand clasp hand to keep from causing harm

and you know your problem? you keep it all in
you know your problem? you keep it all in
and reason says explosions come from bottling
but better perhaps, a maniacal grin
a rising blood pressure
and murder within
than letting it seep, let it out of control
no way to re-leash once reason’s lost hold
become cheap tabloid headlines, all caps lock and bold
as the corpse lays, shocked silence, as it starts to go cold

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