Trying to "Get It"

Poetry is personal. I even want to compare it to the bible because it has so many interpretations and possible meanings to it. Each person who reads one poem will have a different take on it after they have read it. I’ve always found myself drawn to the type of poetry that has a bit of play on words and a grip on the heartstrings. One of those types where you can say, “everyone can relate” type of poetry. I’ve been to poetry readings, finding myself tilting my head sideways like a Golden Retriever wondering if this person is trying a bit too hard to construe their words into a bundle of challenging metaphors and words hardly ever used in the English language. During a trip in Provincetown, MA, I found myself grimacing while it got more politically offensive as I was the only one sitting amongst extreme liberal lesbians standing on the right side of the room. I had to decline an invitation from my friend Lisa during that trip to go to another poetry reading. I had told her to meet us at the restaurant afterwards. While waiting and waiting and waiting, I decided to call her to see where she was.

“Deb---I’m so sorry. I’m still at this weird poetry reading. This lady is pouring fake blood onto the stage, demonstrating her hatred for President Bush.”

Poetry as well as writing is an expression. It’s our personal way to purge of our emotions and our extreme opinions in an artistic way. Whether you’re offended by it or not --it’s pure entertainment. If you love literature, as well as acting, it’s a beautiful thing to see, even if you find yourself cringing over some of it. But see, that’s not my problem---my real problem about poetry is, “What the hell are they trying to say?” Maybe, in not so many words, it can be directed about a lost love or someone desired; a hidden meaning of sorts. I’m sort of a black and white person - give it to me the way I like my steaks---raw. (Ok, just a bit rare...) Once you burn poetry with meanings that most would not understand, but pretend to, then you have lost your audience, at least most of them. Just like my trip to The Museum of Modern Art, I walked past a couple who were mysteriously staring into the depths of a painting with their arms crossed and one hand rubbing their chin, nodding, as if they totally “got it”. It was a painting of a black dot. Give me a fecking break.

Sometimes someone will show me their work of art and if I don’t particularly care for it or just don’t “get it”---I’ll blurt out, “Oh I like the shading and colors.” It’s my way of saying, “My 4 yr old niece can paint better than that!” Again, art is an expression. Not everybody is going to like your poems, your writings, your paintings, your photography or your ability to play an instrument that have dogs howling at night, but you can rest assure that some people are always going to be coming back to your work because they totally “get it”.