Miserable Poets

Hodge podge post coming right up. First, a link to more excellent Jeremy Sherman.

OK No Cupid

He is ten years ahead of me in age but boy does he hit some nails on the head in this one.

“These days I don’t think I’m cut out for partnership. My priorities, including those expressed in my articles here, make me difficult company for romance. My work, both academically and personally (my equivalent to a spiritual practice) is largely about overcoming the tendency to think any of us are exceptions to the good and bad in human nature. Romance, especially during courtship, tugs toward exceptionalism. I just can’t – or rather won’t – sustain the mutually flattering boosterism that courtship entails.”

It’s tough for psychologists. It’s also tough for people who want to expose self-delusions and uncomfortable truths through poetry.

“Maybe being a loaner still hasn’t stuck. I could end up partnered for the long haul again.  I have friends who place bets that I will, and friends who try to reassure me that I don’t have to end up single and miserable (they make that association). This can sound a little like heterosexuals reassuring homosexuals that they don’t have to end up gay.”

Uh-huh. This is a toughie to internally analyse. You can never be quite sure if you are really convinced that you are best suited to singleness, or whether you are deluding yourself about that to make yourself feel better about the fact that you are. The trouble with self-delusions is that you can delude yourself that you’re not delusional. Well I don’t bloody know. Maybe I just need someone to move in with me at random and tell me to stop being so bloody stupid. Something akin to Alan Bennett’s Woman in the Van, rolling up in a Volkswagen camper outside my house one Sunday afternoon and not taking no for an answer.

Other news, last night was an open mic poetry evening where the poetry just got darker and darker and darker until the compère was practically begging people to inject a few laughs. John! You’re up next! Surely you’ve got a lighter one to share?

“Um…I’ve brought a poem about death”

Oh for fuck’s sake. The irony is I still had the funny one about breasts that I have been saving up for such a moment but I’d already had my turn, put on the stand first. That’s the third time I’ve been put up first, way above the statistically average amount. Have I got a face that looks like I want to go first? Someone recently commented that I have good “presence” and I don’t think she meant my expanding waistline. People often judge me to be of considerably higher than average confidence.  A couple of people have even suggested that I am “intimidating”. That just makes me go




2 thoughts on “Miserable Poets

  1. Such authenticity! I love the way this reads, like sitting down for a chat… 🙂

    Personally, I made the decision a decade ago to be single, to forego any romance in my life. It was the best decision I ever made for me! In my case, it was about owning the fact that I no longer wanted to compromise my self, my desires, or my circumstances to accomodate a partner; I owned my selfishness. Whatever the psychology behind it, I have never regretted it. But that’s my story… 🙂

    As for open mic, I can see the confidence in your pic that might make you “first”. I have also tasted the quality of your poetry that makes your work a worthwhile standard to set; by going first, you set the bar pretty high. That can only benefit everyone involved… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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