One of the first things I was told about writing poetry was “Only write what you know about. Don’t write about things you see on the TV.” I always thought this was a lot of a one-sided instruction. Surely the emotions we see when we see tragedies unfold on the daily news, we should be able to, we should have to, write about the emotions those things evoke in us. Temper that with the reality that most of the mainstream media, most media actually, skews facts, edits truths, publishes with a hidden agenda. And with the reality that millions of other poets will have been watching footage of children dying in war zones and that their emotions will be roughly the same as yours. The form might be unique, but the writing world still cries out for a new language.
A nihilist might say it would be best if we just went straight to all-out nuclear war because it would be best if the world was rid of the entirety of humankind. That any nuclear apocalypse would only in the short-term kill most of the planet, and that it would only be a few generations before the Earth healed itself and could start all over again without humans on it. I even wrote a poem to that effect last night. Radical environmentalists might agree with that view, too. After all, we have destroyed most of the planet already. It has not destroyed itself. The only problem of course is that the rich and the powerful and the vengeful, the despots and their billionaire acolytes, on both sides of that perceived ideological border between West and East, would most probably survive in their luxury bunkers dug thousands of metres down into the world’s crust already, and just start the same wars all over again. The most successful weapon for anyone to devise would be one to eradicate human nature, and one that somehow would leave all the kindness of people untouched. A neutron bomb for souls.
The latest book from the Random Book Club subscription M gave me for Christmas is American Colonies: The Settling Of North America by Alan Taylor. The interesting and ironic thing that it’s taught me so far (and I’m only on page 20ish as the typeface is very small and the content very dense) is that one group of native Americans migrated onto the North American continent from Siberia when the now Bering Strait was actually a land bridge between what are now two continents. There are several levels of irony here which I’ll leave any reader to fathom out. It’s a reminder that all humankind has ever done is to fight itself.
The letters on my keyboard wear off much too quickly. Time will erase all our words.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 18