To me, in my head poetry and painting are doing the same job.
On Sneaking Poetry in….
My Flaming Hamster Wheel of Panic About Publicly Discussing Poetry in This Respected Forum, NEKO CASE
“I think the fear began in about fifth grade. Right off the top they said poetry was supposed to have “form.” Even writing a tiny haiku became a wrestling match with a Claymation Cyclops for me.”
Yes, why did they insist on constraining us, putting us in little boxes? Making us follow rules? I am allergic to this. All of my beloved poets, those I’ve accidentally stumbled across have a conversational tone, those picking garbage up off the streets and find ways of sticking it in. As Case says in her essay:
We all have the right to poetry! How could I still think it’s for other people? Smarter people. What’s doubly confusing is I don’t have the same reservations when poetry is accompanied by music. Perhaps I feel that way because there is music all around us — it’s the wallpaper of our lives. It’s not considered precious in American culture unless a symphony is performing it.
Lynda Barry and Sherman Alexie save my life constantly. They battle identity crisis with a sense of humor and a language that speaks so hard to me because they came from my home, in my own time, and they talk to me in our special parlance.
(they saved me too)
I’m envious of the poet for being so mobile. They aren’t stuck with supplies and hazardous odors. They aren’t saddled with a need to store these things you make. You can even keep their work in your head if you have the good fortune of memory.
I too am making a argument. We all have the right to poetry and to not be stumped by it. There will be more.