Friday, February 3, 2017

Writing post of the day: "On the healing power of epigrams"

I started writing epigrams immediately after my separation from my first husband and immediately before our divorce. It was all very autobiographical.

I don't know why, but the sharp, biting, morse-code like blurbs just felt right to me at that time.

I still recall some of them. "He says he loves a Russian girl. He dropped the Kremlin on my world."

And, written while holed up alone in a sleazy hotel, "Three hot days in a motor lodge, on a street called Fucked in a town called Dodge."

Yes, it was angry. I'll even accept accusations that it was. . .emo. Although my divorce came when I was 32 or so and I am now 42, which makes me kind of too old for that word. We called it goth.

I had another I wrote later—not autobiographical but indicative that I had become more direct, more angry, less acquiescent. I accompany it with a picture of a frontier woman who's packing a mean shotgun.

Hell's Bells
I'm an alt-country nightmare.
I've got a cowbell and a scythe. 
I don't want to have to hurt you,
but this homestead is my life.  

Revisiting these early epigrams, it becomes quite clear that I found them to be small, relatively palatable ways to express my feelings. 

Since then I have gone on to write hundreds of epigrams. One of my favorite speaks to my psychological makeup which if you, like me, are obsessed with labels will understand: OCD, ADHD, HSP, INFP, ambivert, empath and Cancer with Leo rising and Lilith in Aquarius. In other words, I want to be on stage with a bass guitar, where everybody can see me,  then moonwalk away at the first spatter of applause. 

Here's that epigram I promised

I'm an introverted extrovert,
a jumpy jack-in-the box. 
I'm a parrot who you think is dead
until it begins to squawk. 

Yes, it's still pretty tart, but there's also a touch of humor. It makes light of the discomfort caused by contradictions. 

And then there are a few sweet ones, like this  little rhyme. 

"Once I got a little bird
 and put him in a cage,
and then I got another bird
and then they got engaged."

It's such a dear, pastel-colored fairy tale. It makes me want to be a part of it!

So epigrams found me, not the other way around. And I rhyme all the time. Sometimes, I've got so much flow, I think I'm poised to conquer the rap world. 

Keep writing and stick around. A new strength will show up. And if you show it off, you'll have more ideas. Because ideas like to take the stage, and stay there and take a bow when you are trying to moonwalk away.

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