I started writing poetry as a way to deal with thoughts. It was cheaper than therapy, although not necessarily much more beneficial. So I kept a notebook. I jotted down my fears, my imaginations, moments of happiness, and the elusive, fleeting seconds of reality. Seems a little strange now, reading over poems about runny eggs and beetles crawling out my ears.
But I also see myself, a reflection of myself; it catapults my heart through the roof. It’s not shame I feel. I don’t feel bad for what I’ve said. No, it’s the relatability, the invested sensorium that makes it possible for me to engage with past versions of myself only to know I haven’t come that far. It’s not about measuring progress–modernity is a linear process perpetuated by colonialism and capitalism anyway. Rather, I am enthralled by the loops I have made knowingly and ignorantly that have turned my thinking into a plate of tangled spaghetti.
The brain, like noodles, is intricately folded and sometimes stuffed with tasty mashes of matter: pine nut and spinach paste or Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism. When I grind my teeth, I chew rhymes and riddled thoughts. I spit them out on the page and watch the ink run onto my hand. It’s not a sight to see, but it sure beats stewing fruit in the melting pot of my mind. When the flesh is soft, it becomes mush. Then butter. A smooth caramel composition that is nothing like it once was. It’s edible, but so are many poems. It doesn’t mean they’ll be good. But it’s an acquired taste.