Some of my best poetry is difficult to read in public. I have trouble reading it in private too.
It shows a side of me that I don’t like to look at– angry. bitter, vengeful.
But those are the poems that are most popular when I read in public. They don’t have to be confessional. Many are religious, for example. The religious poems– the best ones, show my neediness, my dependence on a transcendent God.
I keep wanting to have an all-American, positive, energetic personality. Which is ridiculous because all of us have the same set of emotions, and that means that all of us are capable of feeling nearly anything, including needy, angry, bitter and vengeful.
One therapist said that the poetry kept me alive. I never understood what he meant, until now. The poetry has the feelings that I didn’t want to admit that I had. But had I repressed them, the self-hatred would have become suicidal.
The poetry and the journal-writing does make me feel more alive. And appears to connect directly with other people’s feelings.