Brain dump

brain dumpThere is some guy running for governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, who has the most offensive tv ads, and I quote “And the future belongs to us not them”. I’ll give you three guesses which political party he represents. Who is US and who is THEM? Are these people tone deaf? Or is the tone they’re pinging just one note, one truly offensive note? Every time I hear this ad my blood pressure surges. I am not crazy about the current governor, nor the candidate from the party opposite to Youngkin’s, so voting will be yet another choice between the lesser of two evils. Wouldn’t it be nice to vote FOR someone instead of against someone else? I haven’t voted FOR anyone in decades *sigh*

I wish to hell people would stop writing what they dub poetry. Most of it isn’t. It’s short lines; it’s prose chopped up into short lines. A mass of mixed metaphors. I can hardly tell people to stop writing, I can only stop reading but it just puts people off from reading REAL poetry. And appreciating it.

Perhaps being raised on the classics has just given me an incredibly high standard. I work very hard on my poetry, to make it cohesive, to maintain the measure and the meter – because that’s what makes it poetry. And it’s damn hard work.

That said, I have lines from Emily Dickinson running through my brain – two different poems but the same meter – she tends to rhyme ‘me’ with any other word that ends in ‘…ty’ or maybe it’s just those two poems. If I were any type of scholar I would go through her canon and look for other instances to see just how prevalent that format is – but I am not a scholar and those two verses have become an irritating ear worm, so to speak.

The most interesting part of the newspaper is the obituaries. Not only do I learn about the interesting ordinary folks but I often am introduced to famous(?) accomplished people that I’ve somehow missed out on. This Sunday there were obits on two ‘famous’ people – one, oddly enough, and it made me laugh, was a woman who was a renowned Emily Dickinson scholar – Dr. Judith Farr.

The other was Ellen McIlwaine, described as a “fiery slide guitarist and blues singer”.  She was almost exactly one year older than I and was performing when I was a heavy music listener. Yet I had had never heard of her. I spent some time on Youtube listening to her this morning and, nope. I appreciate what she accomplished, as a woman and as a musician but I can’t say I would ever be a fan.

And there’s the thing, one can appreciate a skill, a talent without actually liking the results of that skill or talent. I’m just not a slide guitar fan. Watching a video of her play is totally amazing. Listening to the ‘sounds’ she makes – incredible. Wanting to hear more? No thanks. Not for me.

A lot of people don’t seem to get the ‘appreciate but not like’ concept. How hard is it to step back from something – art, music, writing – look at the technical creativity, and acknowledge it’s value while also just not feel it.

My taste in art is rather pedestrian. I like things that look like what they are. Total lack of imagination on my part, I’m thinking. I love how artists paint light – this fascinates me. Caravaggio – oh my word, could that man paint light. Just blows me away every time.

On the other hand, once I spent time with his work, Jackson Pollock also wowed me. Hardly figurative, yet he captures my emotions. I stand in awe and get goosebumps.

I think my brain has dumped enough this morning. It’s Sunday and therefore major house cleaning day but as a reward, also pizza day! Yay pizza!

25 thoughts on “Brain dump

    1. Actually sometimes you do LOL There was a brilliant obit a few years ago in the Washington Post where the family, or whoever posted the obit, went to town – both good and bad and it was hilarious! I suppose one could Google ‘honest obituaries’ and come up with some rip roaring examples.

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  1. What an incredibly stupid thing for a politician to say. What happened to “WE” the people. Then you have Biden on tv saying things about how united we’ve become. The way I see it, we get more divided every day. YIKES! don’t get me started…lol
    I get that about art. I can see the immense talent someone has but not like their work. For this reason I think it’s impossible to define good art. How good something is depends on the person who’s viewing it.

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    1. An astute comment on both matters! US vs WE – and that sort of thinking is exactly what’s wrong with the country! I suppose one could judge how good a piece of art is by the technique alone…tho there is much hanging on the walls of museums that totally eludes me…there is a ‘famous’ artist, whose works are in MOMA and the Met (his name eludes me at the moment) whose body of work consists of canvases painted ONE color – WTH? This is art? This is talent? This is bullshit! And I have no patience for Rothko either.

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  2. It is WE the people. What a stupid man is he.

    I, also, wish that more people understood the ‘appreciate but not like’ concept. It’s nothing personal if I don’t like how you, for instance, decorate your house. I appreciate that you did it, hopefully well, but that doesn’t mean I have to like the results. Seems obvious to me, but many people just don’t get it. Take offense over the littlest things…

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    1. Oh goodness one never offers an opinion about someone’s home decor – one simply makes ambiguous humming sounds, unless of course you truly like it. “Oh my god, my eyes, my eyes” – that is saved for yelling at HGTV home decor/remodeling shows!

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  3. I’m pretty sure I only need one guess as to which party that guy represents. Ugh. It’s going to take so many years to undo the last four.

    My dad is an obituary reader and calls to tell me about people from our old hometown dying and how I should tell my mom about it. Sometimes I actually remember to tell her! Lol! He also saw that J’s mom died recently so called to let us know. I had seen it on FB but didn’t know how to tell J so that gave me the opportunity to do so. He didn’t want to talk about it then and still hasn’t.

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  4. I’m not sure how I missed this one, but this is a great post. Full of energy and good points.
    I like what you said about poetry. I have always felt that most people suck at poetry. I could never figure out why. I think you just articulated it for me. It’s supposed to be lyrical, I always thought like it should have a certain structure and you nailed that in your mention of meter and things. In high school I did well with tight structure rules. I remember one called a Villanelle (sp?), and I kicked butt. Have not written it since high school. Except some stoner poetry from my early 20’s that is probably as bad as what you criticize in this post.
    Not so coincidentally, I like your poetry. Now I see that is because you work hard at it and do it right.

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    1. I don’t know if I do it right, but I do work at it. Somewhere recently, in either a post or a comment, I said that I think in quatrains – those first four lines come into my head instantly and perfectly formed – then the work comes in getting the rest to line up! I had to look up villanelle – a most interesting structure and one I could probably work with. What I hate about WP is that a lot of my poems have a physical structure, line/word spacing etc, as well as a poetic one – and that’s hard to do here. My poetry see-saws from the humorous to the totally dark and depressed – which is pretty much how I am. Lately I have been really depressed and I have the first verse of a poem in my head that probably won’t see light of day because even I can’t bear it. (Been reading what you post, I can’t comment because I have nothing to offer. I did have hopes the new therapist would be a way through – that’s a no go, is it?)

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      1. Unfortunately, the new therapist isn’t seeing me for 2 weeks because he was booked out. Services are hard to pin down in my area. I’d like to read that poem if you do write it. I think I can get behind dark and morbid right now.
        I hate to see you suffering in the jaws of depression though. That sucks. I wish I had something more profound to say. My issue is mostly anxiety, but depression does a little dance with it too at odd moments.

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        1. Ah, good that the therapist is still on the books. I often think that therapy is beneficial because for that time YOU are the focus of attention, someone is listening to YOU – that alone is so therapeutic. Anxiety? Been there, got that – it’s like spending every minute of your life walking on eggshells. Not quite paranoia but kinda always looking over your shoulder and waiting for the other shoe to drop; never trusting anyone or even any good thing because – well, you know. Depression? Prone to it but it comes in waves according to the situation or when I get overwhelmed with despair…Oh christ can we please talk about something a tad more upbeat!

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          1. Fair enough. Except… that…I’m not feeling particularly upbeat today 😆😅. But we can laugh about it. Or try. When I get my soul back I will post something more amusing. I wonder if you ever read my 3 part Witch series? It’s dark comedy and the only fiction thing I have ever done. Somehow I think you might like it. And it would make you laugh I think.

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            1. I’ve seen it, not read it. I’ll give it a go. I was trying to find one of my fun poems on my old blog to cheer you up – but for all I know you LIKE pumpkin spice coffee…

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