It seems there are categories and varying ranges of and barriers between different art forms. When one writes fiction others assume it derives from imaginary people and events. Yet under that umbrella lies different genres such as thrillers and spiritual writing. The authors of the former genre are not accused of being criminal masterminds regardless of how compelling their plot is, yet writers of the latter genre like Paulo Coelho end up being identified as embodying the style they write as he is often called a spiritual ‘guru’ which he does not necessarily agree with.
Then there is the blurred lines between one’s personal life and professional life. Musicians such as Adele and Chris Martin write about melancholy moments and past flames regardless of whether their relationship status is blissfully committed or lonesome. Taylor Swift blatantly throws shade via 3 1/2 minutes of musical and lyrical composition.
Although some poems are about very real experiences, some are mere emotional remnants involving no people or circumstances just raw emotion. Sometimes it’s an amalgamation of emotions from career frustrations to romantic heartache and general heartache because it is not just lovers that stab that organ.
Additionally we have actors who actively engage with other people in many ways from unleashing rage to exhibiting lust for a visual production. If actors in relationships can make out with someone else for the whole world to see why can’t I write about some stuff that happened in the past? I give myself permission to write about most things because I know that if it is written about its significance in my life becomes negated via my writing. And if I’m writing about past relationships
(the x2 guys I’ve only ever dated): well yeah that’s what girls do. But it is never about a particular guy: the focus is always feelings, feelings and more feelings.
So having or not having a boyfriend will never stop me writing what I do because ultimately my poetry is part of the process of expelling and reducing the magnitude of the over-powering reaction/dread/anguish I felt about something. It is a purge of permanent proportions. It is a risk we artists must take. I mean how does Adele feel singing about a particular bad relationship- for the rest of her career? Yet the pain is what resonates with her listeners. It is not about an ex-boyfriend named X, it is about actions, disappointments and emotional triggers that we can all relate to. It is a complex dynamic of vulnerability and acceptability. It doesn’t matter if the songs are about a hellish string of bad relationships or one huge devastating break-up. The songs or paintings or books have to be created because they are powerful experiences and we have experienced fragments of it or will do sometime in our life. When someone is bold enough to confess it through art we can seek solace from it. For the perpetrators, well that is just sweet revenge for the suffering soul who had to create it in the first place. In the end it doesn’t really matter and therein lies the acceptability because ultimatly the lyrics of heartbreak are a universal expression of any type of pain.
A final note is that these experiences good or generally bad are the content triggers without them we’d be empty and bare with nothing much to say. He, she, it: does not matter.
One thing is for sure none of my poems are about anyone particular person. How is that? Because y’all are so boring, y’all are Philistines. Why else would I be writing as much as I do? My poems are not about people they are about emotion. And let’s face it the emphasis is always me, myself and I. 😛 Furthermore my writing is more veiled and deeper than I’m given credit for.
Case in point:
I don’t know when you set off.
Or was it when I got lost?
I lost you. Love.
To fail at a Dream is a Luxury.
To forget a Dream is a Tragedy.
This is our Purpose in Life. Don’t let convention stab you with a knife!
Do as you please. Be selfish. But be generous too.
Because in this world there is
Me & You.
So reach out, hold onto it dearly. In your heart you see what you want Clearly.
Part of me is always wanting to explicitly explain everything another part of me treats my poems like they are thorns pulled out my body never to be in contact with again. There’s always that friction and that is what makes the most compelling content. But then I feel the need to defend my work so it does not get miscast. This is not a poem about any form of love. It is a separate stream of passion. The passion that is connected to our inquiring minds as to what to do with this gift we are given called life. It is simply about following your passions and dreams in life. Pronouns are provocative. “I don’t know when you set off,” is not about a lover or friend or whoever leaving or abandoning you. It is within the context of what the longings of our imaginations are; of how we idealize our life to be. It is about remembering that invincible kid inside us who used to believe that anything was possible. The finals words: “Me & You” is my way of symbolically concluding that in reality there is no need for the finale, no need for that happily ever after with someone else because there are only two fulfilling paths in life: 1) God 2) Pursuing that thing that makes your soul shine.
Of course if someone wants to believe it exists in a romantic capacity then take it as that. People think what they want…. So whatever.
I appreciate the need for ambiguity to just leave my writing as is but sometimes it’s nice for me to just put it out there about what my work is really all about. I could write essay’s on my poems, I find it that enjoyable!
Copyright © 2016 Catherine Vaughan