It is less than two months since I last swore off writing poems. I still have not written a poem, unless you count a couple of rude limericks and a rather angry verse that repeated the word "fuck" several times but didn't really say much else. So, no poems. The world has not fallen apart.
But I have. I've still carried on life much as always, making sure that I get information from myriad sources on as many subjects as possible to stay informed and ahead of the game if possible -- but without poetry, all of these things have been dumped into my brain with no way to download them. Poetry, I now realise, was my way of making sense of the world and in its absence, I have lost myself beneath piles of unsorted horrors, injustices, hypocrisies and the occasional kitten video.
In the absence of poetry, I have found excuses. I have become the whiny, annoying person who can't help undermining all the goodness in others because I can't see it in myself. I have actively sought reasons to avoid anything that might make my life easier, or anything that seems remotely creative because I mistakenly conflated my ability to write poetry with my underlying creativity and thought I needed to turn my back on both. My anxiety has increased and my empathy has been reduced to virtually nothing.
And so today I sit and write this with a wish that I had a poem to fix it all, and realise that the well is too muddled with pollutants to yield anything pure. All I have are disconnected phrases and an overwhelming sense of cliche.
This morning I realised that to be human, I need poetry -- and it's gone.