Distant Memory

Distant Memory, By Brian37 (AKA Brian James Rational Poet on FB/META and @Brianrrs37 on Twitter)

Eons ago, in my collegiate days
I sought approval, about my prose
I was confounded by his actions
As he was reading

On the steps, next to the quad
We were sitting, I asked him
If he wouldn’t mind glossing
Over my poem

And giving me his opinion
Then he began tapping
On his hip, his eyes following
The words on the page

What was with the tapping?
I wasn’t intending on rapping
Was it some beatnik flapping?
It wasn’t my style

I sat there confused
He didn’t like my muse
He didn’t like my stanzas
He didn’t like my meter

He thought it would be better
If I were to let him
Offer some suggestions
Then he kept on tapping

That was when I decided
Never to do that again
I always had a better plan
Always to be myself

And not a clone of others.

I remember thinking, “Why the fuck are you tapping on your hip? I am not writing a song you idiot”. That was the day I decided never to ask advice from anyone again. Now, do I think all my poems are masterpieces?

No, I do not think they are all masterpieces. I have some I look back at and think, “What was I thinking?”. But it is still me, and I still write some good ones too. I find it better to be myself than to try to fit other’s ideas.

I also never give advice for the same reason. I can only tell you if I like a poem, but I am not entitled as an artist to tell others they can’t like a poem I don’t like. It is not up to me what people like or don’t like. My only advice to other poets is to READ other’s poetry, that part is important. It also can give you inspiration. BUT, in the end, don’t try to copy other people, there is only one you, and when you write what you know, and it comes from your life experiences, and your emotions, it shows. Be yourself.

2 responses to “Distant Memory”

  1. How insulting that guy was, Brian. Who is he to judge your work or that of any other writer or artist? That was totally unfair and out of order.

    It’s always the best thing to totally be ourselves. We are a one-off, unique person. I wouldn’t dream of copying someone else’s work or commenting on it negatively. I really enjoy the things you write; otherwise, I wouldn’t be following you.

    I also know what you mean by looking back over one of our pieces with the realisation that, perhaps, it’s not ‘good enough’. I do this all the time, especially with my older pieces. I think, what was I doing writing that and thinking it was good enough for publication? But then, as you say, we must be just ourselves – ‘warts and all’, as they say. I have to confess, occasionally, I’ve been back over some of my older posts that I really don’t like anymore and have either deleted them or restored them to drafts again.

    Keep writing, Brian, both for your own sake and also for your current and, perhaps, new readers, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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