You know, I almost named this blog Dreams of a Poet, but frankly, I thought it was a wee bit pretentious for a rambling, disconnected collection of ruminations on the craft and work of writing poetry in the twenty first century. Sure some of my dreams make it into my poems, that is a given, in fact, I've written a couple of poems specifically about my own dreams, but today, I am looking at the Dreamworld itself, and how it touches and unhinges poets more so than the average joe.
Poets are different from novelists, or essayists, or even jingle smiths. It has been said that the difference between reality & fiction is that fiction has to make senses, but for poets, that is a secondary consideration. Poets are all about wrestling and wrangling exactly the right words into place, making them stand to attention, and wrapping them around ideas that are obvious after we state them, but not before.
But poets are special, in that they have a connection to the dreamworld, the gestalt, the land of Morpheus and Ovid. Poets tap into the madness, the chaotic swirl of what you want and what you cannot have, and poets have the ability to show you what you are missing.
But such vision, as it must, comes with a price...
Which brings us to....
Dreams of a Poet
The toiling poet drank deeply of the sap of sane pleasures,
He exulted mightily in the cold beauty of dead stars.
He built careless bonfires of his demented sorrows,
And laughed a lunatic’s mirth in the light of their glorious blaze.
He sipped with resistance of a heart’s questing romance,
Mixed love maternal, familial and parental into a sloppy stew,
Which he then ate, wiping it clean with the bread of betrayal
Before draining the Scriptures dry for each last drop of peace.
In his toil, he wrung magic from the winepress of human nature,
Stole raw gems from the deep mine of inner thought.
He scraped sweetness free from the honeycomb of innocence,
And left his muddied tracks in the minds of those who read his words.
Yet none of this was sufficient to ease his manic need.
Every dream of his sleep became a nightmare of missing pieces,
Every rhyme a dancing will-o-the-wisp of promise,
Haunting and prodding the poet to further trial, and ultimate error.
But when he finally cast aside all dreams, all ambition,
He found himself floating in the cool dark of sanctuary.
Guided by a tiny glimmer of light just within his grasp,
He found his soul, and it warmed him for all time.