I’ve come to realize that publishing “Dark-Hearted” wasn’t half as hard as sharing a new poem with a friend.
With “Dark-Hearted”, I picked through a couple hundred poems for the ones I felt held the most, well, darkness. And they were all wrung from me tirelessly by my muse (thanks, hun) over time. But having been there and done that, there weren’t any ties left to those poems. I can read “Tainted Angel” without the anguish I had when I wrote it, or “Whore” without the self-hate that was there at the time. While I can remember the feelings, they’re just that: memories.
But with current poems, I’ve come to realize that the strings connecting them to me are still there, uncut. From silly or sappy to hot or heavy, all of the current snippets I’ve written are still fresh and new in my mind/heart/soul. Unlike my “Dark-Hearted” poems, these are preciously and precariously tied to me, protected because they represent current wounds and wants and needs.
It’s much harder to give someone a poem that’s still fresh. With the old ones, if I don’t have an explanation to give, I can shrug them off as “teen angst” or “a phase”. But with the newest ones… the emotions they represent and the muse that proded me into writing them are still very much alive and a part of me. So if someone reads these new poems and says “WTF?”, not having an answer isn’t as simple to blow off.
Then there’s the poet vs muse dynamic.
I don’t want to.
Do it anyway, it’ll be good for you.
People will look at me weird.
They already do, so what?
It could make things awkward.
And that’s new how?
God, you’re so pushy!
And you love me for it!
Friggin’ muse. She’s laughing at me. Gotta go write another poem. Sheesh.