I have something in the ol’ brain baker (no one has ever referred to a thought that way, have they?) for later this week, but one of my goals is to write something every day. I’ve already fucked up because I didn’t think anyone wanted to read about the menstrual woes of a 35 year old woman. Maybe I’m wrong. Anyway, today I’m explaining things because one of my identities is EXPLAINER.
That picture up there? That’s the Cliff’s of Moher in Ireland. It is, appropriately, followed by a Joyce quote about aesthetics that makes reference to the Cliff’s of Moher. Stephen Daedalus, the protagonist of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, has been my literary lover since I was introduced to him at seventeen. In fact, he inspired my second as yet unwritten novel (stay tuned in the coming months for how that comes to fruition). Stephen has a lot of questions for the world, and in the quote, one of his professors is pointing out how dangerous it can be to delve into all the questions he has. I’ve always been right beside Stephen, asking similar, if not identical, questions. Stephen also fueled the fires of my passion for Ireland, so when I was able to go for the first time at twenty, it was … spiritual. When I went again last summer, it was something even more. So another identity is IRISH.
This blog is kind of like Stephen asking the questions, diving off the Cliffs. I’m searching, and I’m worried that I’m not well trained enough to come up from the depths. I immediately think of another Dubliner I am in love with – Oscar Wilde – and his “De Profundis.” But I’m also reminded of John Mayer saying, “Yeah, I’m really deep except for when I’m watching porn and lighting fire crackers.” (That may not be a completely accurate quote, but you get the idea.) Identity: BOOK WORM.
Which leads me to explain (see, I like to explain e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.) the name I’ve given myself here. Frail phrases comes from a poem I wrote in 2002 about John. I chronicled that part of my life in a blog too (lauritajd.livejournal.com) and as silly as you might think I am, I don’t regret being a soupah fan because it brought some wonderful people into my life and certainly got me into some awesome music. Identity: FAN GIRL.
All of these identities spring from times when I was prolific as a writer. When I was twenty. When I travel. When I read. When I listen to music. It leads me to an identity I am reluctant to embrace now but would have absolutely accepted as a teenager: POET.
So, here’s an excerpt:
~LJD, September 30, 2002
The same hope for you filled my heart.
You stood before me, full of sound,
Never failing to play your part.
I spoke, again, some frail phrases
Handing you a piece of my soul.
You placed in me a grain of joy,
Taking me in, becoming full.
Yeah, it’s not good. I was working with rhyme and meter because I was taking a Nineteenth Century British Poetry and Prose class while I lived in Central London. 2002 was a magical time.
Nowadays, I don’t write a lot of poetry. The products of my time in Ireland last summer are prose poetry, reflections, uncategorized pieces. I teach about poetry more than I write it. One prompt this year was simply a poem titled “I Am.” My inspiration for the prompt was a professional development workshop at a publisher where I came up with what is still unformatted but has to do with identities. Here it is in full.
~LJD, December 13, 2016
I am a clumsy progression of chords
rising to the clouds.
I am a unicorn,
Marks on my haunches,
Hair that shimmers.
I am full of love undiscovered,
Searching and fearless,
My mother’s daughter.
I am crazy smart, emphasis on crazy.
I am inimitable, irreplaceable,
No one can do what I do.
I am indomitable, except by my own doubt.
I am breakable but fixable.
I am the glue.
I need the glue!
I need to be who I am, full of love for who I am.
Like I said, I’m still working with the formatting. Very clearly rhyme and meter were not a consideration, but that’s part of what’s fun about poetry – it can be so stringent or fluid. It’s why I have trouble labeling some of what I’ve written over the last two years. Is it a poem? A prose poem? Prose? Drivel?
To recap: Explainer, Irish, Book Worm, Fan Girl, Poet.