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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Depressed Poets' Society!

A poet telling you he is depressed is like a dog admitting it likes peeing on lampposts

The issue of poets and depression comes up often – as it did at The Lamplight Art Centre, Stanley on 25th August. The ‘Black Dog’ though it has varied tastes, seems particularly partial to poets. It is, ironically enough, a joke among us. At the afore mentioned gathering, I referred to a young man who approached me at a previous event of the verse-full, showed me some of his lines on a piece of electronic wizardry then declared that he suffered from depression. It was so unremarkable (the declaration of melancholy not the poetry) that it dawned on me that gloom might be part of the job description. I wonder whether poets might even start boasting about their depressive bouts as a sign of poetic virility. We may flaunt our dark moods the way inadequate men with money flaunt expensive cars or inadequate men without money flaunt their dangerous dogs. We may start pretending to be more depressed than we are! N.E. streets may be strewn with moaning, wailing, dull-eyed, zombified, limp beings all craving poetic credibility. Sod writing good verse, just hang your head and groan. In case groaning and breast beating doesn’t work I’ve tried the less tiring method of writing a piece based on the above. Below is a first draft. I don’t usually show my page poetry so this is exposure aplenty.

Exposed Poet

Grey toad in compost heap
Slumbering deep
When I invade
With sudden energy
Good intentions and

I apologise
Salute your size
Humbled before
Your truly amphibious

Pathetic fallacy indeed
As I in need
Of list-crossed-off
Should dig

Your seven year heap
Your August sleep
I’m so sorry
A sorry specimen
Unlike you
Grey / green fiend

Surprising interference
Grudging disappearance
Through the fence, hence
Waiting no doubt
With condescending pout
To return

Which will happen soon
F---ing stupid poet
Looking for release
In compost?
A much better idea
Hide in it.

Inspired by the stage angst of performance poets, next Tuesday’s blog will be entitled;

Performance Nerves Cured by Dinosaurs!

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