I realize it’s been so long since I wrote my last blog post. Whoever happens to read the writings I write is probably wondering why that is?—I know I sure was! All I’ve been posting lately are short little snippets on my website and Instagram, presumably leaving my readers somewhat confused as to what it is, exactly, that I’m going for? Well, my name is Joel and I’m here to say that I don’t know, exactly, what I’m going for. But I do know that it’s been so long since I last wrote in prose, and I wanted to clear the air because poetry is confusing. Poetry is a cloud—cloudy. Although, poetry is hard to define and I’ve actually put little effort into learning the conventions of poetry—so maybe what I write shouldn’t be called poetry? Anyway, I thought the time was about right to catch up with you and once more show my capability, my mental stability, as a writer in the more ordinary language.
My Instagram account began displaying early onset signs of paranoid-type schizophrenia, and I don’t blame it. It’s a constrained medium that makes one think too much about the conveyance of big meanings with few words. Though a picture’s worth a thousand words. My Instagram account seemed to become conscious of itself as an important writer with an audience that wasn’t listening; it began wondering too much about the meaning of “meaning”, began wondering too much about how people were interpreting its words, its actions, wondering too much whether the passion it could communicate was entirely constrained by what others were able and willing to fill in—not much, on Instagram. My Instagram account learned that one cannot scream at others about how they ought to interpret its screaming.
Now, my Instagram is a part of me—only a part of me. I’m glad to have the space from that constrained medium of posts and stories to speak with my audience frankly, to clear the air about what it all means. A quick conversation in the medium of life :D will fill in the missing pieces, where I can tell you what I think that poem really, really means in an everyday language that we both understand. Out here, in prose-land, where we speak clearly to clear up our little mysteries. Out here, in prose-land, we might come to a consensus about what a poem means (As if a poem doesn’t speak for itself). Out here, in prose-land where our language is shared, this land where the problem is with my speech if you… don’t really… understand… Out here, in prose-land, where our problems of understanding are problems of communication and not of interpretation.
I’ll try to explain clearly the reason I’ve been shying away from prose-land lately. It seems to me that all kinds of assumptions are embedded within our shared language, just like those assumptions underlying… Instagram posts! For example, teachers love to teach that every sentence has a subject and a predicate! But does that mean… that the world… is created of subjects… and predicates? If I say “Bananas are yellow,” will you take away from my utterance that I believe “Bananas exist.” and “Yellow is a property.” and “Bananas have the property ‘yellow’.”? Because, that’s not always what I hope to do with my utterances. What if I just want to softly whisper “Bananas are yellow” into your ear outside on a rainy night because it sounds nice? What if I hope to express something outside of this subject/predicate framework, but all you know how to listen for are subjects and predicates? AhA! He thinks he exists and as a subject that exists disagrees with my subject/predicate framework of interpreting him, so he must believe interpretive frameworks exist and have the property of being right or wrong… Ahh!
Therefore, illogically, poetry is not a hobby but a necessity for departing from the ordinary structures of language that constrain what one can convey to their audience. It’s similar to the way buzzwords operate in political arguments—the way people quickly skip to your conclusion without reference to the particularity of what you’re saying. So… are you saying this or are you saying that ? Yes, I mean these things that I’ve heard said before! Certainly, you must mean this or that !? Maybe, I tend to think, if I write in a jumble rather than standard form, the reader couldn’t possibly assume I’m saying this or that. Hopefully, instead they’ll read for something entirely new, or at least, at the very least, recognize their own lack of understanding.
What gives you the right to believe you bring something new?
We all do.
So here we stand, out in prose-land, and depart, though I must admit that I’ve failed to write as *prosaically* as I’d hoped to for your sake. My sentences appear to be falling out of simple structure and my word choice is informed by rhyme. And sometimes, my friend, I use random filler expressions to improve the rhythm of my sentences. But I think this change in style is alright, it’s just my new style of writing, really. My new style of my thinking.
Now, grandsons and daughters, now mothers and fathers, remember that word which should never be taught, so frightful it will keep your children up at night, so dreadful as to steer them from all creativity, from lack of structure, and that word is, if I dare to say it, meaningless.