Pengatory

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I remember looking into the eyes of the woman I was prepared to give my heart to as she explained to me how I might not be the one for her. I was searching for something there to give me hope that this wasn’t going to be the end. All I found was a perception of me that wasn’t going to change any time soon. It broke my heart. But what hurt even worse was what she said next. She told me that it was going to make for great poems.

I have heard this often since then. I might have heard it many times before but after that fateful goodbye I hear it differently. It is well know that poets are inspired by life. That means that both the ups and downs call to the poet to put pen to paper. Those who get to read or hear the poems crafted love them. We see ourselves in them, we hear our stories, and we celebrate the perspective presented. We can’t wait for more.

The thing is, that beautiful eloquence is sometimes tied to hurt. Hurt that we have to revisit to write the next powerful recollection. You love that Mary album and cant wait for the next one? That requires Mary to trudge through the landfill one mo gin to have you in your feelings singing at the top of your lungs on your next drive to work. It touches your spirit. It tears hers apart.

“That’s going to make a great poem!”

So…errr…um…Who said I wanted a great poem instead? I might’ve wanted the situation to work out.

“That’s going to make a great poem!”

I’m bleeding. I think I might want surgery, stitches, and some pain medicine. Oh, and some ice cream.

“That’s going to….” *grabs they’re face with each palm* DON’T DO IT…DON’T YOU DARE DO IT!!!

For many poetry is catharsis. It is a release. It is intended to bring relief. It is a way to process, grow, and move on. It is not a consolation prize at the carnival of jacked all to hell situations. Walk out of the state fair with a big plastic bag of stuffed animals and you look like a god. Walk out of the last 6 months of soul crushing heartache with a journal full of poems and you look like the Joker. And I mean Heath Ledger’s joker. Some of you look like Jared Leto’s joker.

Purgatory is the intermediate state after death where souls await purification so that they can enter heaven. Pengatory is where you are stuck in the great poem state of Real Hurt hoping the roaring applause for your pain helps you purify yourself for happiness after. But if the affirmation of the applause becomes the prize, then when do you feel comfortable letting go? When do you move on?

But hey, what do I know. See that woman who sent me packing with low self esteem and the well wishes of future poems inspired a few dope poems, and a couple songs, and a book project. So I know that good can come from pain. But I would rather it didn’t. Ultimately, I just don’t want to be Mary’s dancing at the Bad Boy reunion concert.