Sunday, 4 September 2016

I am a writer, I suppose

I spose I’m a writer now, because I write things
But not much gets published. Does that matter?
I’m wondering if validation equals a career or
Maybe at least a vocation? No. A passion?
I don’t really think so. Of the hats I’ve worn
This is a fairly comfy one. Is it a compulsion?
Do I feel worse if I don’t write, and better
If I do? I guess I don’t obsess, don’t sing
My own praises enough. Or maybe too much
In passive-aggressive woe-is-me port-soaked
Nonsense. Who knows. Who cares? Pfff.

I can call myself a poet if I want, but nobody else
Really gives a toss about that, which is fine by me.
Actually I lie. Who wouldn’t want other people
To read what you do and say things like, ‘He
Really taps into the zeitgeist,’ or, ‘Joe calls
Things as they are, but you can see he believes
In something better.’ Stuff like that. Really. Truly.
But that’s really not the point is it? It’s kind of a self-
Obsession if I’m motivated by that. Again, though,
Maybe that’s the point. I think I’m missing something
Rather than the world missing me. So…

Journalism is different. Non-fiction books, all that
Is easy really once you realise that the story
Is already there. All your job is on that one
Is teasing it out, finding good quotes to stitch
Together. Chasing the ever-falling wordcount
And hoping to get paid. Nobody got rich
Off of these pulpy unauthorised biographies.
Well, not me, anyway. I don’t think they’re crap;
Some of them – all of them for different reasons – are
Pretty entertaining. I surprise myself when I read them
At some of the stuff I scribbled for a laugh. Ha. Ha.

Fiction? It’s stuff that’s made up, stuff that hasn’t
Happened. Or, stuff that could have happened, and
Is plausibly enough scrawled onto a page that it
Engenders hallucination of sorts, a mental movie
Translated from the printed black on white bits
And bobs that equal written language. And so we
Keep on reading, keep on dreaming way beyond
The confines of the ragged world’s constant spasms,
To lift ourselves from day to day drudge, or fear,
To stave off the urge to get fucked up or to fuck off
Altogether, and finally. Why? Well, the truth is: I have no idea.

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