For anyone that’s been paying attention, I’ve started posting here a lot more regularly. At first I was just trying to find a home for a short story but I’ve been enjoying myself so much I really want to stay. Recently I’ve been posting poetry and despite its obvious simplicity, It’s awakened something in me that I like. I’ve never made anything I write public before, it’s always been for me. Whether that’s due to a fear of how it would be judged or that I’m just not quite happy with it. The only people that will ever have seen anything I’ve written have been objects of my affection and that is where my dilemma comes in.
I like to think I’m a romantic, very heart on my sleeve in personality, wanting to shout to the world how I feel. This is a wonderful feeling when you’re in love, so many thoughts bouncing through your mind, sometimes you just need to get them out. Poetry already has a stereotypical relationship with love and romance, so it’s the natural choice for a man like me who pretends to be a writer. The problem is some relationships don’t last, some don’t even get started, but you’re left with all these unfulfilled desires and emotions. Worse still if you’re like me, you have the evidence of your unappreciated affections. Now I should state here I don’t want to come across as bitter, I’m sure anything I’ve wrote for anyone I’ve loved has been well received. Yes the end result of the relationship was a failure but the feelings were all true and I shall never regret putting myself in a vulnerable position for love as the rewards far outweigh the risks.
When I write I tend to start by hand, pen to paper, scratching out concepts or copying down full formed ideas. I have folders and note pads full of scribbles. Very little is complete and the writing covers everything from poetry to novels. I decided to re-visit my old files and notes because I’ve been spending more time here. I thought that I could find some old project to breathe life into or inspiration for something new. What I found straight away was the drafts of love letters and poems for the women I’ve loved. I would like to hope that they still have the completed pieces and haven’t cast them aside as they done with me, but I still have all the notes and scored out pages. I can easily put the completed pieces together either by pen or by keys and that’s the dilemma.
Despite personal emotion that goes into anything an individual write is a poem for someone more private? I wonder what I can actually do with pieces like this. Clearly I’ve kept them for a reason, clearly my love still remains. It would be callous to just throw them away, what would that say about me as a person let alone my ideas of love. If you are a writer of any description and are proud of the work you’ve done, wouldn’t you want to share them? Yet is that a breach of privacy to the person you’ve wrote for? I honestly don’t know how my past loves would react to me publishing a poem I wrote for them. I would assume they wouldn’t care but that’s more me just having a low opinion of myself. If you are the author does it matter where the inspiration came from, is the message not the same. Love transcends gender, race and nationality. Would a reader not find a poem written for someone specific more compelling? As I leaf through the notes I’m filled with confusion. I just don’t know where these scribbles belong.
I could leave them where they are to metaphorically gather dust. Stumble upon them after a few years and remember these loves lost. Is that fair to me? I’m the one who wrote these declarations of love, why should I be afraid of them? Would it be okay for something good to come from the remains of a broken heart? Is there a moratorium of things like this? Do I have to wait so long, get so much distance from me and that person before I can reclaim what I wrote? Never with an eye to re-cycle but to celebrate something I felt long ago and wish to feel again.
Ultimately that’s where the dilemma stops me. Is it disrespectful to publish something you wrote for someone else or can I salvage something beautiful from the carnage that followed? As it stands right now I’m not sure. Even if the answer is I can publish, I’m not sure I would. There’s some small part of me still believing that maybe just maybe I might get a second chance. For now I’m left to wonder if this affects anyone else and if this is truly a poet’s dilemma, or just my heart ruling over my head.