Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, Son # Middle

Today is my middle child's birthday. Happy Birthday, Jeremy Thomas.

Silly to mention it here - he'll never see it because none of the kids even know I have a blog. But - Happy Birthday, anyhow. I'll call him tonight since he doesn't like me to bother him at work. He's an ambitious sort....I worry about him. They are all ambitious....I don't know where they got it, it's certainly not maternally inherited. It's probably from all those years of eating macaroni and cheese and the infamous "dirt sandwiches" of their childhood. The "As God is my witness, I'll never go hungry again" syndrome.

I wonder how many people who write poetry have families who KNOW they write poetry? For the longest time I never mentioned it to anyone. Now, well, now I just don't care anymore....I trashed my entire Midwestern reputation when I picked up, packed up, quit my long term job and moved 'cross country without even stopping to give 2 weeks notice first. Actually, it's worse than that...I came for a visit and I simply never went back.

Poetry writing is a bit of a "ewww" occupation or hobby in my neck of the woods. It's not something you can taste or smell or feel and therefore, it's suspect. The guys on the Fire Department would have laughed me right off the engine had they known. Besides which, I was a realistic hardened little biatch and everyone knows that realistic hardened little biatchs don't waste time with the ethereal. It would have embarrassed them and I would have been embarrassed myself.

It's good here with Dan. He knows I write because he taught me how....he encourages it, he fosters it and he supports me while I attempt to do it. It's nice to be able to discuss meter and form and rhyme (oh my!) at the dinner couch. Of course, now I can't discuss blood and guts and internal organs over a plate of spaghetti, but oh well...win some, lose some.

So, how 'bout it? How many of you get support at home or at the job for your writing? Poetry gets disssed in the "real world" I think. If you say you're writing a novel, people are both impressed and interested....if you say you're writing "poetry", however, do their eyes glaze over and they pointedly change the subject - or do they still appear genuinely interested?

Enquiring minds want to know.


Anonymous said...

Always a good question. Has poetry always had a suspect element about it? It seems so. The public also has a suspect opinion of artists, as well. Maybe it should be this way. Most art and poetry is incomprehensible to anyone and everyone.

Hey, is that site down? I can't get it. Maybe it should be this way.

Usernamelost said...

As always you ask the good questions, the uncomfortable question. Family, yes they knew at one point. However I told them I'd sworn it off, filed for seperation, divorce pending. I lied but they don't know it. When you say poetry people step back or turn torn between a label and uncertainty. It's awkward, it isn't hallmark.

nolapoet said...

I'm lucky in that my family has supported me, sometimes literally, as a poet. My parents are great writers themselves, but kind of look at me with the "gee-whiz" of the non-poet. My dad is surprised and pleased whenever I show him some new publication. I think he worries I'll starve to death. My mom can be embarrassingly supportive, wanting to brag about me in public, but she periodically lets me know she thinks I'm great no matter what.

My partner is a translator, and is a real lover of language and good writing, so we do get to talk iambs and trochees at the dinner table. We tend to talk more about metaphors, translation of idioms, and things like that. And about Spanish-language poetry. And about whatever she or I or we are writing or reading.