Tag Archives: poetry

I ain’t no better than a dirty dime.

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I was reading a story from Rolling Stone about an old favorite of mine, Kris Kristofferson.  While I don’t listen to him often, I’m drawn by his lyrics like a bee to honey.  I sat at my computer and let his music help me write my imaginary song.

I ain’t no better than a dirty dime

I’ve got the writer’s itch,
when words flow from my mouth
like grease droppings on a dirty floor.

Thinking about days gone by
as they skip out the door.
Hey little buddy of mine,
you’re ain’t nothing but my little whore.

All my writing, singing, and therapy stuff,
don’t change you a little bit.
I own you, he whispered that night.
You ain’t no better than a dirty dime.

Hey, Kris Kristofferson,
you old buddy of mine.
I’m turning you off,
‘fore the dark fog moves in.
Best you go away,
before I begin to believe,
I ain’t no better than a dirty dime.

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Bleeders make the best writers.

IMG_0088I had to post a quotation that was shared by Teretha G. Houston on her twitter account.  “There is nothing to writing.  All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway.  Wow, is what I thought when I first read Hemingway’s quote.  I certainly feel that way when I write.

When I first heard the words in the dark black night.

IMG_0088I was three, maybe fourth months into therapy.  Horrific memories of childhood sexual abuse came in different ways — sometimes a complete memory, other times in bits and pieces while meditating.  I was very proficient in meditation, and would sit for thirty to forty-five minutes, and even an hour.  The really bad memories erupted during nightmares in the form of metaphors which had to be analyzed in order to grasp their meaning.  On this particular night the meditation flowed nice and easy, allowing me to experience the sensation of floating throughout the darkened room.  Only the street light slide under the window shade.  Otherwise, it was a dark black night. This was when I began hearing words that jumped in my mind.  The structure and rhymes seemed like poetry — crude, unrefined, but powerful nonetheless.  Maybe my surprise came from  the fact that I had no interest in writing or reading the written word.  I moved to my computer to see if I could recall what I had heard.  My fingers flew across the keyboard as lines of poetry appeared on my computer screen.  It was easy and without effort.  I was writing poetry about the sexual abuse I had experienced during my childhood.  It felt like I was in the middle of some alien experience, or perhaps a miracle.

The next day I was sitting at my desk where I maintained a financial planning office.  I couldn’t help but think about the previous night’s experience when I actually wrote some poetry.  I couldn’t wait until I went home and sat at my computer.  Evening came.  Okay, I thought, let’s see what I can write.  My mind was in lock down.  No words came forward.  Finally I gave up and assumed that last night’s experience was unexplainable and would never happen again.  So, I returned to my meditation and settled into my soft chair.  Thirty minutes into meditation the same thing happened again — more poetry about childhood sexual abuse.

In the days that followed it became clear that the key was to meditate and wait for something to happen.  The meditation somehow eliminated the wall that had previously blocked my creativity.  In time I could enter the place where poets dare to tread.  My therapist suggested that I contact a writing teacher and see where my writing might lead.  I took her suggestion and talked with a client of mine who happen to teach in the English Department at the local university.  She worked with me for about 6 months and then suggested that I work with a teacher of creative nonfiction writing at the university who worked with me for three years.  Upon her suggestion I completed my MFA in creative nonfiction at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.

Here I am three books later, thinking about the wonderful journey that I have taken.  My therapist and writing teachers changed my life.  I can now enter that well of creativity, floating through a liquid-like gel which must be love.  Not only does it happen when I write, the love comes forward anytime I open the door.  What a life changer it has been, and is there for the taking.  One only needs to trust, to feel, and ultimately to love.