Advice: Don’t hold back. Just write the poem.

“The long neon nights and the ache of the ocean

and the fire that has started to spark.

I miss it all, from the love to the lightning,

and the lack of it snaps me in two.”

After my last relationship ended, I shied away from writing poetry about it.  A few lines came out here and there, but nothing solidified into a full fledged poem.  Part of it was because I was afraid of falling into cycles of post-break-up obsessive behavior.  She and I live in the same town, so a simple drive to run errands would take me very close, if not right past her home, as well as many places where had we walked, talked, and dined. Main Street was also Memory Lane and there was nothing I could do about it.  I was terrified that the lines between getting groceries and repetitious mourning of what once was would begin to blur.  Yet at the same time I didn’t want to go out of my way to avoid these places, because that in of itself, would be obsessive behavior.

Thankfully, there was no anger or bitterness between us, which I think made moving on easier for both of us.  More than enough time has passed that I can now drive through the center of town without feeling like I am being barraged by memories.  Yet now I feel like I have a loose end begging to be tied off.  I don’t have any full fledged poems to mark what was one of the happiest times of my life.

One of my poetry professors in college, Peter Shippy, shared with me a quote from Nick Cave.  He was being interviewed about his album The Boatman’s Call, heavily influenced by his break up with PJ Harvey.  Cave commented on the album “making grand theater out of an ordinary rejection scenario.”  While he has a point, it is also true, that all art does exactly that.

So fuck it, go ahead and make grand theater.  If the thing you lost meant a great deal to you, then you owe it a certain tribute.  Break out the best costumes, props, and sets.  Don’t worry if the lighting is off or the lines are weak.  You can fix that later when revising or in a workshop.

Open the curtains.  The show must go on.


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