I have said it once, and I’ll say it again, I have a vengeance against Sylvia Plath. Make me read her, and I will vomit on the pages, leak black from my goddamn pores. But, I do have to thank her for starting the process of learning to write, and the journey of learning to write well. In high school I had to do a project where I wrote pastiches of her pieces “Miss Drake Proceeds to Supper”, “Tulips”, “The Colossus”, “The Munich Mannequins”, and “Edge”. Oh god how I hated them, but I really liked the poems that I had written. The following school year I started writing my own pieces, all of them so edgy and depressing that several teachers wanted me to go into counselling (little did they know my therapist loved my work). I deeply, and truly, hate Sylvia Plath, but I do have her to thank for working.
In an odd way as well, I suppose I do have to thank my brain chemistry for making life so difficult for me. I have always turned to expression as a way to cope with the crap that life throws at you, whether that be a panic attack at the worst possible moment, falling for the one guy you KNOW will hurt you badly, dealing with depression and suicidal ideation, the list goes on and on. And having friends dealing with all the same things also gives way for inspiration. I have pieces from high school dedicated to friends who were a breath away from overdosing, a piece of art that I wrote an ekphrastic poem on that was created using the blood from a self-inflicted wound (he almost died that night). While its not fun to experience, it makes for great inspiration. Maybe that’s why all my pieces are dark and gross: it helps me reconcile the things that have happened to me, or continually happen to me, that make me feel gross. Poetry is, in a way, a form of therapy. For me at least. I am jealous of the person who can write fictitious, or even non-autobiographical poetry. That’s something I’ll have to try soon, we’ll see how it goes.