Contrary to the alleged wisdom of Roget’s Super Thesaurus 1995 edition (what deemed it “super” the tome never explained): “poetry” and “prose” are NOT synonyms. Thirteen-year-old me did not realize this. I trusted the almighty power of the printed word. Old notebooks now hold embarrassing hand-lettered titlepages. Of course, by “hand-lettered,” I mean letters cut from Seventeen magazine like a ransom note.
Full disclosure: I don’t write poetry very often.
Any more at least. Between the ages of twelve and seventeen, I filled nearly a dozen hand-written journals with my awkward, adolescent odes. In some of the earlier volumes, I hadn’t even mastered the dexerity required for elegant cursive writing. And I consulted the aforementioned thesaurus far too often, believing this great book to be the key to it all, thus peppering my poems with endless malapropisms.
I don’t think I’ve gotten better with age.
I’ve written a total of about four poems in the last seven years. Two are terrible. Another two, not so bad.
One of those not-so-bad two, Madrid, Before a Recession, appears in Ataraxia Vol. 4.
When I first wrote this poem, nearly six years ago, it was simply titled Madrid.
I sat on it for a while. Years passed.
Looking at it again, it suddenly became something of a time capsule. (Like a thesaurus from 1995.) And a rather accidental one at that.
Thus, the renaming.
A version of this post was originally published at sandpaper blues.