In Canada a few weeks ago I, through a serendipitous series of events, ended up at a slam poetry evening in the tiny town of Golden. I had always feared such gatherings would be filled self aggrandising hipsters. You know the “Prototypical nonconformist” type, chinos and all. However, it was actually really great.
The atmosphere was inclusive and supportive. It was just a bunch of maladjusted geeks who also liked to write poetry and ski. Buoyed by the fact I knew hardly any of these people, and was unlikely to see them again, I shared some raw and personal scribbles.
Of course after our car broke down I did see them again, at the ski hill. Where our eyes met with the slightly awkward, “you know too much about me while also knowing nothing about me” glance that soon turned into a friendly smile.
I was inspired by all the other authors who shared their work. They seemed to be so good at expressing themselves in very few words, something I tend to struggle with. So I decided play around a bit more with shorter form poems/expressions. Below is one of the better attempts I made…
You watch snow fall gently through two large panes of smudged glass.
It’s late February.
A part of your hardwiring tells you it should not be snowing.
But there is a record humming and a book on your lap.
And there seems to be a sense of fulfillment in your always slightly cold bones.
You suppose you belong here as much as you belong anywhere.
Or perhaps not at all.
No matter how many times you’ve read and resonated with the Alden Nowlan quote:
“For those who belong nowhere and for those who belong to one place too much to belong anywhere else”
You still can’t decide on which side of the “and” you are on.
Or how to capture that feeling of contentment,
make it last,
make it stay.
You waste hours on hypotheticals and wondering about what ifs.
The rest of your time is devoted to justifying your decisions in retrospect.
It was always meant to be this way, wasn’t it?
Just another wishful thought from those who abstain from god but remain frightened by the accountability of atheism.
Cynicism and day dreaming never were meant to coexist.
Which is probably why, in quiet times like these, you find yourself scribbling words on virtual bits of tree.
Anything to sort the bickering between multiple personalities you seem to maintain, but have yet to name.
Will you ever know what you want when it feels like you is plural?
You berate you for being so self indulgent and introspective.
This life could be so easy.
If only you wanted it to be.
But at least one of you likes the way your existential angst produces a string of words that might leave an impression on someone,
A ray of sunlight breaks through the heavy snow clouds.
You like the way it warms your face and makes your hair dance golden in the light.
There is no real resolution.
Just a dull acceptance of your insignificance.
To let it be.
To let it go.
To ignore that voice chasing the unanswerable.
And treasure every feeling of home, even only for a moment.