optimistic about bad poetry

Ten years ago I wrote an awful villanelle, one where each line was a statement. It was extremely simple, like something written in one’s first undergraduate poetry workshop, because that’s exactly when it was written. I was a happy teen who couldn’t wait to fall in love, but at the same time I kept waiting and waiting.

A year ago I knocked on my brother’s neighbor’s door, not sure whether the neighbor was a woman or a man. The person behind the door was a man whose face and body I very much liked. It may not have been love at first sight, but there was definitely admiration on both sides. Later I heard from my brother that his neighbor wanted to tell me ‘hi.’ My big brother could tell that he was interested in me, but I didn’t think anything of it. The neighbor and I had a couple more meetings before we went out on a date, a baseball game: his team, the Rangers, vs. mine, the Astros.

Right away I told him, don’t take our relationship too seriously; I’m about to move to California. He insisted that we start a serious relationship and wouldn’t have it any other way. I met his parents. We made it official the old-fashioned way, on facebook. He met my parents. And the first time he had dinner with my parents was in Vegas, on my way to California, where he met with us for only one evening in passing. Afterwards that night he and I had an epic two-hour date on the strip, of winning 2g in black jack,  My dad had given me a midnight curfew.

I’ve been in the bay area for ten months now, and nearly half of that time I’ve been with Preston. Here, Houston, Louisiana, SoCal, Nevada. His career in oil/gas/minerals is taking off as my writing career blossoms. I’ll see him in two days again. We’ve just parted ways in LA ten days ago.

I used to not believe in long-distance relationships, but with technology (facetime and gtalk) he is still the boy next door at all times. 

Now I no longer consider myself a poet. I’m here to write fiction, but when in love, poetry exists.

For my first fiction workshop in the fall, he’d sent red roses, so when I arrived for my first grad school workshop, I found his presence in a fragrant bouquet and a note:

“I love you more each day. Thanks for knocking on my door.”

He was the answer to the poem I wrote a decade ago (omg this is embarrassing!):

Behind the Door

What will I be on the other side of this door?
With many possibilities, which way will I go?
I want to be unlike any woman before.

In small fractions of my life, I bore
Without having enough skills to know.
What will I be on the other side of this door?

I could write till I rot or sing till my throat’s sore,
Embrace my femininity a la Marilyn Monroe.
I want to be unlike any other woman before.

If I choose this way, I’d have to leave behind more.
I need to hurry up and choose or else die slow(ly).
What will I be on the other side of this door?

I reach for skies, yet I’m still on the floor.
Maybe I’ll just enjoy my life, go with the flow.
I still want to be unlike any other woman before.

Why stop, fall through now, when I could be so much more?
Correct me if I’m wrong; I still have room to grow.
What will I be on the other side of this door?
I will be unlike any great woman before.

.

That will never get published. It’s bad poetry! Howevs, it means so much to me. 
Maybe cause I associate poetry with love.

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