I haven’t written a poem in about twenty years. I don’t remember the last poem, but I remember the when because it was about the same time I recited Please Master by Allen Ginsberg in front of my college creative writing class. I hated the teacher; reciting this poem, she had asked us to recite our favorite, was my passive-aggressive attempt at revenge. At the time I was still in the early stages of my love with the work of Allen Ginsberg. And while Please Master wasn’t my favorite, it would serve my purpose. Would have served had I not, partway through, started visualizing Allen Ginsberg, bespeckled, balding head, and greying grizzled beard, naked on his knees reciting this to his love Peter. I got a fit of giggles that I couldn’t seem to quell. I didn’t realize then what I realize now, that sensuality and sexuality is beauty no matter the (adult) age, size, and shape of the deliverer. But that’s a story for another time.
I hated this teacher because she had a clear bias of acceptable poetry. There was one woman in my class who wrote the most beautiful heartwarming poetry. But the teacher deemed it “Hallmark cards” and dismissed it. Another woman wrote angtsy gothic crap that I could take or leave but the teacher lapped it up like cream. My best friend, also in the class, wrote some surprisingly interesting poems. Not surprising that they were interesting, but in all the years I had known her prior I hadn’t realize poetry was in her. She had hit or miss success with the teacher. Me, as usual, I did enough to skate by not really caring to conform to the teacher’s whims to impress her.
But this morning I watched this short film by Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s online production company/art collaborative HitRECord called Flickering Lights.
After the video finished, these words came tumbling into my head. Repeated themselves in a way that said if I didn’t find pen and paper that moment and write them down, I would sincerely regret it. It may not be a great poem, hell it may not even be good. But after twenty years I wrote a poem and that’s good enough for me.
Makes you want to
Get out of bed
you sleepy head
The sun is shining,
the birds are singing
Don’t lay there another minute
for there is art to be made
The moment is NOW