Tag Archives: self-doubt

Hypocritical Mass

Yes, I have been a hypocrite:
talked a good game, but never played;
and facing challenge, I have quit
the field and left teammates dismayed.

I’ve shouted sermons down the street
on practices I’d never tried
and often, told new folks I’d meet
colorful tales, most of them lies.

On politics, on love, on war
I’ve claimed my way the higher road,
poured salt in wounds I knew were sore
to prove some tenet of my code.

I’ve eschewed meat, when it was scarce,
naming some holy cause;
and when my vegan friends went home
found some steak bones to gnaw.

The pious route, the pilgrim’s path?
I’ve seen it from afar.
When people stumbled, I have laughed,
and drove off in my car.

What talents given me, I’ve wasted,
just to watch them spoil;
and criticized what I’d not tasted
just to play the foil.

Yes, I have done my part to serve
some causes rather lame;
and later claimed not to deserve
my fair share of the blame.

Yet, through all this, I’ve never lied;
when asked, I’ll say, “inhaled”,
and honestly, each thing I’ve tried
to fudge about, I’ve failed.

I’m no great angel, I’ll admit,
but have learned from my flaws;
and not been such a hypocrite
to think there should be laws

so everyone would act and live
the same way that I do;
to fight such thinking I would give
my life. How about you?

The hypocrite and martyr die
in differing degrees:
one in an instant, on their feet;
one lingers, on their knees.

08 JUN 2005

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Wretched Thoughts: deibhidhe

Most days I don’t mind the mess
that fills my fancy, doubtless
in its mad mire growing grand
plans my desires demand;

but today, the turmoil seeks
to wreck my poor reason’s speech
and turn to tares the flowers
where I’ve worked long hard spent hours.

Voices volley in my head;
oh, that order would instead
cast this chaos to the void
before this day is destroyed.

13 APR 2004

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On Education

If you were to ask me, say, how to make it in the Music business, what you needed to know and where you needed to be seen, heard or known, I could probably give you a pretty intelligent answer. Likewise, if you needed advice regarding a career in information technology, although my training there is mostly on-the-job and catch-as-catch-can, I have enough of a formal foundation there to be of some use.

But with writing, and Poetry, being completely self-taught as I am, I feel at a great loss. Sure, I deconstructed Poetry in high school (20 years ago now), and could blunder through the basics of theme, presentation, person and character. But I’ve never had the advantage of a complete college education in English, say, or the plus of a BFA or BA that seems to form the underlying knowledge base of a “real” poet. Maybe that’s a misperception on my part. After all, I’ve been writing Poetry for almost 30 years now, 12 of those years pretty immersed in self-study and volume production. So I’ve learned SOME things. But it’s like that last year of a four year degree in any “artistic” field – that’s when you learn how to present yourself, how to organize a collection, how to put together a resume, etc. Up until that point, you’re just working the mechanics of it, learning the language.

So where does one go from here? How do you know when your work is good enough to submit for publication? I mean, there has to be a certain point where you “know”, regardless of whatever feedback you may receive from friends and family, that what you can do is either schlock, average, typical, pretty good, great or genius. Whose opinion do you trust?

Maybe I’m just stuck. I don’t know.

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