The common tragedy

I have never been able to fathom poetry. Not because it’s unensnarable—which it annoyingly is—but because it never seems to touch upon that all-encompassing nerve of human endeavour supposedly running through our blood, transcending cultures and time and space. Is there a common trouble that we all share? Is there a common tragedy that is not death that we all quietly await that so many claim is described by poetry?

I, for one, think that that thread of shared memory is lost, forever leaving the feeble grasp of our comprehension. In fact, I believe that there is more to be shared, more to be found that will speak to the mind’s innermost voices, in a lonely moment of self-doubting. Away from a larger freedom, a “shared freedom”, we now reside in a larger prison, an invisible cell that assumes various shapes and sizes.

Sometimes, it’s in your throat, blocking your words from surfacing. Sometimes, it has your skull in a death-grip, suffocating all thoughts. Sometimes, it holds your feet to the ground and keeps you from flying, or sticks your fingers in your ears and never lets you hear what you might want to hear. Sometimes, it’s a cock in a cunt, a blade against your nerves, a catch on your side, a tapeworm in your intestines, or that cold sensation that kills wet dreams.

Today, now, this moment, the smallest of freedoms, the freedoms that belong to us alone, are what everyone shares, what everyone experiences. It’s simply an individuation of an idea, rather a belief, and the truth of that admission—peppered as it is with much doubt—makes us hold on more tightly to it. And as much as we partake of that individuation, like little gluons that emit gluons, we inspire more to pop into existence.

Within the confines of each small freedom, we live in worlds of our own fashioning. Poetry is, to me, the voice of those worlds. It is the resultant voice, counter-resolved into one expression of will and intention and sensation, that cannot, in turn, be broken down into one man or one woman, but only into whole histories that have bred them. Poetry is, to me, no longer a contiguous spectrum of pandered hormones or a conflict-indulged struggle, but an admission of self-doubt.