Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Poetry

Day 221

I made a big mistake yesterday for which I beg forgiveness. I did something I tell people never to do. I didn’t listen. I got some feedback on yesterday’s scribbled poem, and I brushed it aside. I went to bed thinking about it, couldn’t sleep, got up again and ate half a ton of peanuts and had another glass of wine, and almost bought stuff I shouldn’t be spending money on, but restrained myself. Finally slept, and woke up feeling worse than ever, and thinking about that poem. Came downstairs, still thinking about it, had my honey, walked round the garden smoking, opened the office door to let some early morning freshness in, and was still thinking about it. And I’d brushed the feedback (hastens to add – it wasn’t even criticism) aside with the lazy nonsense of “oh, don’t take poetry so literally.” Ok, poetry isn’t necessarily meant to be taken literally, but it should be precise. So I changed one word, changed “rewritten” to “undone.” That makes more sense, and is less equivocal, because although we don’t know the past, it can’t be undone, but it can be rewritten and distorted and used for ruthless people’s own ends. That was meant to be the point of the poem – that whatever people might choose to dress the past up as, they cannot actually undo what really happened, and that the times we’re living through now are a direct result of what has been done in the past.

I guess it plays in with that novel on slavery I’m just reading (review will come when I’ve finished it), where I am aghast at the cruelty done to people by other people, and where the right-wing playbook now is that we shouldn’t be judging people on what happened then – and the extreme right-wing racist view of course being that slavery was fine and should be reintroduced because white people are the supreme race. It makes me shudder, and feel ashamed of my middle-aged white man privilege. All people are equal, and should be equal, and anyone who says otherwise should be prosecuted for hate.

Of course, I’m sitting here wondering if I’ve dug myself an even bigger hole, and hope I haven’t. The problem with words and life and everything is that talking about them too much, especially when you’re perpetually on the brink of exhaustion, blurs meaning.

I wrestle with time as I try to get it under control. That’s why I have insomnia. At least I’ve found my sleep spray which got lost in the move. Perhaps tonight I’ll sleep.

And I’ve just realised that somewhere along the line Zav’s name in Aggie mutated into Zak. I prefer Zav. That’ll have to be fixed in a final edit. And that just reminds me that everything here is just a first draft. Things tossed down without me thinking (or caring) too much about them. I do hope that doesn’t disappoint.




Get notifications of new posts by email.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply