Monday, 17 December 2007

A Late-Night Case of the Blahs

I came home for the holidays this evening. I have been reading Ted Hughes in bed, and am overcome with the urge to write poems. And yet I can’t, and, believe it or not, I am in tears for it. It’s been months and months since I wrote a poem. I’m turning the half-finished modernisation of The Rape of Lucrece that I wrote last year into a play script, and I’m typing out extracts of my thirteen-year-old diaries to be drastically edited and become a Jacqueline Wilson-esque diary-novel. But I only write a little for both projects now and then. Perhaps I’ll finish them, but I’ve realised not much will happen after that.

I am consumed now with a longing for poetry. But I can’t write it anymore, because I know that nothing I write is any good. And nothing I write will be any good because I don’t "get it" somehow. Kind people will take time out to critique and will tell me all the things I need to cut out. But it’s somehow not my poem anymore. My poem, imperfect as it undoubtedly was, was finished, because it reached the level of my comprehension, my "best," as it were, at the time I wrote it. The moment has passed. Any more interference and it’s not mine. I am unable to learn from critique. I am too stupid. And that truly breaks my heart, but there it is. So I have resolved to write only for myself. I will write my bad poems and show them to nobody. I will give birth to my deformed babies and I will love them, and everyone else can fuck off. I really thought I would publish poetry, properly, one day. With adulthood comes reality checks and I am relinquishing that dream, painfully. I seem to be relinquishing lots of dreams. I have traded my imaginary intellectual poet-giant Ted Hughes husband for a computer programmer, who looks anorexic and shares next to none of my interests, but whom I think I love. I am slowly learning to look forward to a more realistic future, though it’s depressingly ordinary.

I am getting old. In one day and ten minutes I shall be twenty, which is half way to forty.
I wonder if anyone reads this anymore. I doubt it. I hardly update often and I’ve been shamefully neglectful of friends’ blogs. I will go through my blogroll this holiday, and write another post with a proper update rather than whining. But it doesn’t really matter. Again, I’m writing for myself. Such egotism! I remember being mortally offended when my mother referred to my writing as a "hobby." Such a trivialising word for what then was my life. Now I guess it is a hobby, really. How depressing. This post is quite depressing. But I shan’t apologise for it. I write for myself. If you don’t like it, there are lots of other sites on the internet.

Ah, blog, I have missed you. Only really time to copy-paste my essays in during term-time. But it isn’t term-time now so I hope to do some proper blogging (and blog-reading/commenting) over the next few weeks, along with much reading and admin and other odds and ends. Not that time is in abundance now! But at uni I seem to have no time at all: it vanishes in a haze of study, extra-curricular stuff and pissing about. As ever, I lament my own lack of discipline and productivity. Another reason why I’m no proper writer. So much time wasted, so much writing and reading and self-selected study I want to do, but don’t, for some reason. And now I really feel motivated to write, and I’ve accidentally left my bloody folder with all my notes at university. I also forgot my pink cardigan, which I am sorely missing.

It’s been too long since I’ve read Hughes. Such force and such beauty and such horror. Amazing. And yet so frustrating: I have poems like that in me. I have a story to tell. I have my own horror. I have a whole mythology. And I have no way of getting any of it onto paper! It’s buried too deep at the moment: I can’t access it. All I have right now is an image of an owl, a furious owl with a bleeding worm in its beak. Nice. Do worms bleed? I wouldn’t be so sadistic as to cut one up and see. Never mind.

I have lots to write about. It’s been months. It’ll have to wait until later, though. I am very sleepy, very sleep-deprived. I can’t talk about sensible things, only the crap that spills from head to fingers to keyboard. My keyboard has a key missing. My fingers are cut and burnt, my hair is greasy, my glasses are broken and scratch the bridge of my nose. I am deeply unattractive, a fact which my vanity will never stop railing against. And my head… well. I stopped taking my meds these last couple of weeks because I was so fed up with the weight gain. Much craziness ensued. Vague memories of talking to a hedge. I’m taking them again over Christmas because if anything goes wrong at home then I’m screwed. In January, I have four options:

1. Take my meds and try to overcome my exercise phobia. Find a way to go to the gym without crying. (Fairly difficult, as I cry just thinking about it.) I hate crying in public. So - problematic, and unpleasant.
2. Try and do without meds. - Fucking scary.
3. Start on lithium, which is the only one which won’t make me gain weight but is also really fucking toxic and can have all sorts of complications. Plus if I overdose I’ve had it, and I do have a bit of a history there. So - dangerous.
4. Take meds, be fat and put up with it. What I’ve been doing so far. - Not working.
Eeee, bed time, I think. Or rather, turn off laptop and attempt sleep time. More later.


Rob said...

Did Ted Hughes write his best stuff at the age of 19? Rimbaud and Keats are exceptions to the rule that poetry gets better with age. Mark Strand, now in his eighties I think, is writing better than ever. You probably have plenty of time to develop as a writer, far more time than the likes of myself - already in my forties - although I comfort myself in the knowledge that Wallace Stevens published Harmonium, his first collection, when he was 44. Just think - if you write solidly for 25 years, think of the material you will be able to pick from by that time for your first collection.

As for your options, I reckon number 1 sounds best. Might there be ways of exercising without going to a gym? If gyms upset you (and I can't blame you. I don't feel at all inclined to visit these places), stay away.

Rob said...

This sounds good to me - the audiobook diet.