Poetry Is About Telling The Truth – The Fucking Humbug

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One of these days, while reading the submissions I’ve received for The Ramingo’s Porch, one of the editors told me he was tired of humbug. He was talking about the trend of many authors to say things that they do not even know or that they have never tried on their skin. Unfortunately, in a world made of “politically correct” it’s difficult to find authors and artists capable of freeing themselves from humbug.

This happens quite often also because many magazines are worried to offend some of their habitual readers. I had the pleasure to meet and publish on The Ramingo’s Porch a talented writer who told me he had to struggle before finding us. He was rejected by many magazines because he wrote short stories about sex and social issues in a very strong way. We did not care of how much sperm and sweat was spent inside of his short stories. He was a real rocker and we gave him the possibility to spread his voice.

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I understood how important is to speak the truth thanks to one of my mentors in poetry: Catfish McDaris. I was a pretender — no worries in saying that, we all start pretending to be something more than we are — and my poems were full of phrases made, common places, and a lot of bullshit in general. I was trying to find my way in poetry and it is quite normal to make those kind of mistakes.

Catfish told me “you need to improve. You want to write about love? Stop writing those bullshits and start listen to Elvis Presley or read Bukowski. Just remember the most important thing ever: don’t try to fuck with the reader.”

His words were like a cannon ball passing through my brain. Don’t try to fuck with the reader.

Since I started writing my poems, I forgot about the reader and the fact he could have done other kind of experiences. I had to write the truth, also if it hurts.

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I know, it could sound like a common place, but it is not. At least it is not when you face the white page and you start thinking to every person you could damage or give pleasure with your poem. Your girlfriend, your parents, your friend, your neighbors, your boss, your colleagues. You are completely naked in front of them, you’re speaking the truth and if you have something wrong in your life, they’ll know it. If you think your boss is an asshole, he’ll knows it.

Don’t try to fuck with the reader means you must be ready to face shame from those who do not agree with your view of the world. If they are far from your life, it could be easy. But it becomes difficult when you have to face people you love or respect. In those cases many authors prefer to use a “polite” or “politically correct” way to write poems and short stories, but – and this is my personal opinion – that way of writing kills the deep meaning of the creation. It’s like stopping the magic just to be sure no one would hurt.

Anyway this is just my point of view. Let me know what do you think about writing the truth.

Mendes

 

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3 thoughts on “Poetry Is About Telling The Truth – The Fucking Humbug

  1. Thanks for sharing. Writing what’s honest is definitely the way to go. There’s a lot of poetry out there that doesn’t say anything at all. It’s refreshing on the rare occasions I read something provocative and truthful. I would rather have some people love my poems and some people hate them instead of everyone not having an opinion on them at all. Then I know I’m actually saying something.

    Liked by 1 person

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