This poem was sent in by “just Brandie” or Brandie Barnes, an occasional contributor to the comment section.  I found it moving, authentic and poignant…

You spit love from your mouth, Within the very same breath you whisper hate unto me…..My ears hear your Shame….. Do you lie only to believe these so called truths which you never knew but forced me to bare such filthy loads just for you. Trembling from the icy cold fingers that Stab deep into my heart I whisper no shame…..I pity you. you were born with a defect never once in your life will you be beautiful…born ugly your decaying a bad apple through and through……so rotten from the very core you claim to have a heart. Ugliness from head to bottom of your non existing soul. So go ahead spit love again from your mouth and watch as I smile turn my head and walk away from hate. My ears don’t hear the whisper of your shame.

  1. #1 by johndockus on August 10, 2014 - 5:17 AM

    Indeed a strangely powerful poem. I like it in the same sense I like certain bands whose passion and belief in what they’re doing is greater than their actual talent. Genuine emotion blows through mixed signals and gives the finger, taking back and reaffirming the human power the vampire attempted to sap and take away. Displays of guts and heart are increasingly rare in this world we live in. I bless the bull who bucks and snorts in the china shop.

    • #2 by Keith Spillett on August 10, 2014 - 2:35 PM

      I got that feeling too. Brandie writes with genuine passion.

  2. #3 by Courtney on August 11, 2014 - 5:36 AM

    That might be the most cliched, regurgitated pile of garbage I’ve ever read. It was thrown together like a pile of dirty laundry masquerading as insight. Just. No.

  3. #5 by just brandie on August 11, 2014 - 3:45 PM

    Uhhh…..waat? Jealous? Its you I pity this was inspired by the ugly inbreeds who have not one ounce of decency in them. What’s wrong little guy did your momma neglect you. Did she push you away and tell you how much you destroyed the real woman she was. Abortion she wished she had gone thru with even when the coat hanger may have been her last resort. Stop hating on women learn to love yourself even tho your a mistake not everyone has to know. I know my talents aren’t for everyone . but these are my thoughts my words and I promise I will forever be heard. I promise you will forever remember my name.

  4. #6 by just brandie on August 11, 2014 - 3:56 PM

    Oh I’m sorry looks like I may have gotten your sex wrong. I should have known you were a jealous insecure little girl.. I’m sorry you got stood up for your prom but get over it. Its not my fault they made you the butt of all jokes. I can only laugh and you can’t blame me for that. Duhh……*yawn* I’m bored go hang yourself ….jk. I do have better things to do then spend anymore time wasted on you.

  5. #7 by johndockus on August 11, 2014 - 4:35 PM

    Just as there’s a band named Countess, I think along the same line the name The Laundress would be a great black metal front-woman name. I can envision Courtney wearing corpse-paint, kind of tapping into with exaggerated gusto the Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra look, and being carried on stage in a giant hamper by her band mates dressed as zombie Egyptians. The title of one of the tracks she performs could be ironically entitled, “Undercut the Sanctimonious”. Getting all in a lather, she can prance on stage around giant piles of dirty laundry. Instead of smoke machines, a twin towers of wash-machines emitting big pink bubbles can be placed on stage, glass-faced ones so that the audience can see the unacceptably dirty clothes therein spinning around and around and be put into hypnotic trance. She and her band can go on tour with Alice Cooper and Gwar.

    Anyway, too much venom here for my taste. I hope to lighten things a bit with some satire, in the great spirit of this blog. But I understand the reaction. Again, I appreciate your poem, Just Brandie. I personally from my own experience know it takes courage to speak from the guts and heart. I’m your defender. I defend all sincere and honest self-expression. John

  6. #8 by Keith Spillett on August 11, 2014 - 4:43 PM

    I love a little venom now and then! (until about At War With Satan)

    Please continue with the psychic head bashing. A little verbal violence now and again isn’t the worst thing. Especially when it escalates to full on warfare.

  7. #9 by johndockus on August 11, 2014 - 4:57 PM

    Not “Let there be blood”, but Let there be Mud. Cat fight!

  8. #10 by just brandie on August 11, 2014 - 6:32 PM

    No no this not a cat fight. I have the utmost respect for Courtney. She took the time and read my “Shame”. She only stated what she felt as I did as well. Women can debate as well as men. Why does it have to be a cat fight. I believe women are stronger then men. You are taking my response way to seriously. Relax there is no drama here. I hope Courtney and I keep this little flame we ignited. I’m sure she to is laughing at this. Not all women are petty little bitches. Wouldn’t you agree Courtney? These are only words with not any truth or depth. We have never meet so how can what she critics in what she reads in my poem hurt me just as how I respond only to point out that my poem is not for everyone. Im not subtle about anything. I only point out what I see. I maybe wrong at times but that’s on me. When i am right or someone feels something from what i write its hard for most to swallow. I have guts and will put myself out there. Its truth or dare from me to you. I believe Courtney is a person who doesnt take to just anyone. Respect is definitely earned there.

    • #11 by johndockus on August 12, 2014 - 3:29 AM

      Hi Just Brandie:

      Pardon my cat fight quip. I tried riding the magnificent vibes of Keith, who is gleeful at the prospect of psychic warfare, but I dropped the ball, so to speak, foolishly touching the “battle of sexes” nerve. I shouldn’t be surprised that my stupid quip triggered you into siding and even defending a woman who in her apparent conceitedness was still mean and dismissive of you. I think she owes you an apology, not for the content of how she feels – which is as legitimate as the content of how you feel – but for the crude and flippant way she delivered it to you. More respect for your feelings and intelligence should be shown. You didn’t ask to be attacked. You shared a poem connected to real feelings you have, you shared a raw emotion, and if you’re like me, I figure you desire some appreciation, and if that can’t be had, at least some honest suggestions for your improvement so that you can continue to learn how best to shape the content of your feelings.

      I personally have contempt for those who criticize and dismiss the work of others without first establishing that they have a right to do so by putting their own work up for analysis and comparison. Lack of imagination in those who criticize and dismiss increases the offense to me and ratchets up the degree of contempt I feel. (A great thing about Keith, the writer of this blog, is his humorous, witty and inventive imagination. He exposes sacred cows for what they are and makes the phenomena around them still more hilariously ridiculous, which I suspect deeper down is his positive defense of things he actually loves.) Insulting and cutting someone down, pushing buttons, is a cheap way of grabbing power, a petulant form of power which usually is parasitic in nature, drawing its strength not from within but from others. Bullies have an illusory strength. They use others as crutches, being unable to walk on their own. They need victims and define themselves by those they succeed in intimidating and scaring into doing what they demand. Constructive criticism – thoughtful and substantial remarks – is more difficult, requiring some effort. Patience is an attribute of strength. It takes strength – tolerance and restraint – to allow others the breathing room to be themselves and where they’re at, even in their bad places.

      Let the Laundress show us what she can do before dissing another. Let’s see if she can do better. I myself have a poetic imagination, but I haven’t really attempted writing poetry per se. Out of the gate, when something is new, one usually is sloppy and has some falls and failures. It’s part of the growing process.

      Your remark that you think women are stronger than men makes me raise my eyebrows. The definition of what constitutes strength may be debated. I think strength comes down to individuals, gender a component of how strength is manifested, our wiring and sensibilities being different, but no gender has a monopoly on strength itself. And strength isn’t always obvious. The quietest person in the room may have the most strength. I’d rather like to believe that men have their particular strengths and women have their particular strengths. There’s an awful lot I sincerely appreciate and love about you women and am even in awe of, you have some incredible natural abilities, as special and distinct from what is generally found in men. But for crying out loud, sometimes you women descend into such things which make me walk away shaking my head.

      I hope you continue writing, developing and shaping the content you find in your own nature into an art unique to you. In my direction you will nearly always find an open mind and a sympathetic ear, great good humor, and self-awareness and sense of rightful place – a sense of fair play – in anything critical I may say.

      Sincere best wishes to you –

      John Dockus

      • #12 by Courtney on August 12, 2014 - 6:23 AM

        Also, John, less white-knighting, please. That is really insulting of a woman’s intelligence and ability to stand up for herself.

  9. #13 by just brandie on August 11, 2014 - 7:00 PM

    @johndockus Thank you. Keith always a pleasure

  10. #14 by Courtney on August 12, 2014 - 6:21 AM

    Wow! Just when you think the level of human intelligence can’t get any higher it SKYROCKETS right before your eyes.
    @Brandie I should excuse my rather blunt opinion of your “poem” but I wont because I was being honest. If you can be applauded for your honesty so can I. I appreciated your most recent comment that addressed the “cat fight” issue. I wouldn’t waste my time with “cat fights” at least you get that.
    @Johndockus I felt I had a right to express how Brandie’s poem made me feel, especially seeing it here, on a blog I visit to find intelligent, well written articles that force me to think. Frankly, I was completely appalled at the entire idea of Keith featuring musings from this woman on his blog, but alas it is HIS blog.
    Being a poet myself I find deep contempt for someone (especially in middle-age) trying to pass off misplaced adolescent angst as poetry when it contained absolutely no insight, no rhyme, no meter, no rhythm, etc. In fact, I’d lean more towards calling her words prose and not poetry. Poetry is an art. It involves a deep understanding of language and I found this offensive…particularly so as labeled as poetry.
    And btw, Keith has seen my work. Feel free to ask him if I have a dog in this so-called “cat fight.”

    • #15 by johndockus on August 12, 2014 - 10:22 AM

      Pleasure to meet you, Courtney. Bang. I surely stepped in the middle of a mine field here. I’m still not sure if you and Brandie know each other, what kind of acquaintance you have. I’m brand new to this blog, recently having just discovered it, so I’m unfamiliar with any comments or interactions you and she might have shared in the past. So I have walked rather blindly into this curious mix you two have toward each other of animosity and honesty (or Brutal Truth – I drop another ball on the tee for Keith to drive). “White-knighting” – Well pardon me (deep bow with a sweep of my hand) hip jargoneer pop psychology queen.

      Is there a place I can read some of your poetry? I agree with what you write about poetry, with respect to it as a craft which in its purest essence is an art. I have the same respect for words. Poetry is a practice which indeed can easily miscarry, and arouse intense displeasure, ridicule, mockery, winces and grimaces. I completely recognize the steep incline, the degree of difficulty, in pulling off a poem in the truest sense, as art. Many indeed write pseudo-poems, turgid messes, thinking poetry is a vehicle simply for pouring out emotions, stringing them together with rhymes, making a gruel of sentiment. I’d like to see what you write. Is there a blog or some place on-line you can direct me to so I can read some of your poetry and judge for myself whether it has worth or quality?

      John Dockus

      • #16 by Keith Spillett on August 12, 2014 - 10:39 AM

        You are doing great, John! The comment section is a blast when it turns into WW3! Good to have you on board!

  11. #17 by Charlotte on August 12, 2014 - 8:01 AM

    Icy (cold) fingers all over his hand?

  12. #18 by Keith Spillett on August 12, 2014 - 8:24 AM

    WAR IS PEACE!!!! Continue firing until you see the whites of their eyes!

  13. #19 by John Nelson on August 12, 2014 - 8:45 AM

    Du spytte kjærlighet fra munnen, i en og samme åndedrag du hviske hat til meg

    My ører høre din Skam
    My ører høre din Skam
    My ører høre din Skam

    Har du ligger bare å tro disse såkalte sannheter som du ikke visste, men tvang meg til bart slik skitten last bare for deg. Skjelv fra det iskalde fingre som Stab dypt i mitt hjerte jeg hviske ingen skam

    My ører høre din Skam
    My ører høre din Skam
    My ører høre din Skam

    Jeg synes synd på deg. du ble født med en defekt aldri en gang i livet ditt vil du være vakker … født stygge din råtnende en dårlig eple tvers igjennom

    My ører høre din Skam
    My ører høre din Skam
    My ører høre din Skam

    Så råtten fra selve kjernen du hevder å ha et hjerte. Stygghet fra topp til bunnen av ikke eksisterende sjel.

    My ører høre din Skam
    My ører høre din Skam
    My ører høre din Skam

    Så sett i gang spytte kjærlighet igjen fra munnen og se på som jeg smiler snu hodet mitt og gå bort fra hat.

    Mine ører hører ikke sus av din skam!

    Now it’s Kvlt.

  14. #20 by Chris Rudy on August 12, 2014 - 11:41 AM

    You shouldn’t have to submit your own work before criticising others’; artists often make the worst critics of each other’s works. That being said, this sums up a lot of what I feel towards my ex…

    • #21 by John Nelson on August 12, 2014 - 12:35 PM

      Typically when you criticize from the standpoint of ‘I write poetry too,’ as Courtney does, it’s reasonable to request an example. I don’t take art advice if the adviser can’t show they are better than I am.

      • #22 by Courtney on August 12, 2014 - 1:01 PM

        John, I wasn’t giving her advice. I was simply expressing my opinion. If you must, here is a link to my deviant art which is the only place I have any publicly shared poetry. These are fairly recent. All written within the last year or 2.
        Whether or not you enjoy, appreciate, or identify with any of my work isn’t really of much importance to me as I do it for pleasure and release. I’m sure “Just Brandie” can relate to that.

      • #23 by johndockus on August 12, 2014 - 2:52 PM

        Hi Courtney:

        Thanks you for posting the link to poems you’ve written. I just read a few. First impression: Impressive. Inherent music and rhythm, and some marvelous images conjured. Not all perfect however. In some places the rhyme falls in more naturally than in others. Some rhymes are a bit forced or a kind of patch to keep the whole poem together and flowing to conclusion. I write this to show you I understand the challenge sometimes of finding the right word for a context, having some great lines, but trying to figure out how to link them together naturally without spoiling the whole.

        Dare I say, we share some affinity in imagination. I have a marked tendency toward the dark, the grotesque, the macabre, which on the side of craft intersects with a kind of beauty. So we share that in common. I have to go to work shortly, so I can’t delve into your poems more at the moment, but I’ll definitely return to your deviant art link when I have a chance.

        Now that I’ve read some of your poems, seeing you do have talent, returning to Brandie, I still – and even moreso now – don’t quite understand your unrelenting harshness toward her. You can afford to be generous and even instructive. I don’t take it as a personal affront when I encounter the work of another which needs work and is still in an amateurish stage. I’m just going to chalk it up to something which has nothing to do with me, what’s going on there, and I take my leave of it.

        Hey, finally I can say, great to meet you, Courtney. Thanks for sharing your work –

        John Dockus

        P.S. Keith is probably disappointed that I haven’t tossed a grenade at you.

      • #24 by Keith Spillett on August 13, 2014 - 1:14 AM

        I like this sort of interaction as well!

  15. #25 by just brandie on August 13, 2014 - 3:14 AM

    Thank you Courtney , it’s been along time since I laughed to the point of peeing my pants. Good thing I remembered to pick up more depends. Your attempt to offend me by your comment of a woman of middle age only shows me more insight into who you are. The only reason you find fault in my poem is because you yourself are shame. True to my words you are a defect. ugliness thru and thru. Never will you know what beauty can hold. You have Spit at me with all the hate you have due to your very own exsiatence. I applaud you, you have chosen each word wisely. Unfortunately your attempt to bring me down was just another failure. In dedication for recognizing your true self. Courtney I thank you for being my perfect muse

    • #26 by johndockus on August 13, 2014 - 7:42 AM

      I’m glad to see, Brandie, that the poison which was injected into you has not proven fatal and with the boost to your immune system you are now even more alive and kicking and focused in your Voice.

  16. #27 by johndockus on August 13, 2014 - 4:32 AM

    Hi Courtney;

    You mention in the comment section of one of your poems on your site that you’ve been told some of your rhymes are “sing-songy”. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I still haven’t read all of your posted recent poems (I’ll get around to it), but in the ones I have read a musical accompaniment can be heard in the inner ear, accompanying sounds to your words. You’re a lyricist. The very first poem you have posted there, right when I read it, the thought that “this is a poem” fell away and the feeling I got is that I was reading the lyrics of a song. I wonder if you’ve ever worked with a band, or written for a band. I imagine a vocalist who shares your metal ethos would love singing some of these powerful, fascinating, dark magical poems/lyrics. I dig Lori Bravo and Nuclear Death, by the way. Some of the most incredibly twisted and macabre lyrics ever, and her vocal delivery is insanely perfect for those songs. In the back of my mind I’ve considered illustrating the lyrics of some of her songs. Also reading your poems Revenant and their album Prophesies of a Dying World comes to my mind. Henry Veggian, the lyricist of those songs, has gone on to become a literature professor. My appreciation of you is deepening, Courtney. I could go into details in your poems which really appeal to me, but I don’t want to get too bogged down with this now. I’m working on my own stuff. But this has ended up being worthwhile to me. I must end with this: words from your own deviant-art site. From my first introduction to you, I’d have never thought I’d find you associated with such words – words after my own heart:

    “We believe in respecting each individual’s right to their own philosophy of life, after all we are all on our own individual journeys and at different places in our paths. Creativity, tolerance, and open-mindedness are essential factors in the philosophy of Creature of the Cosmos and we hope we can share a little bit of that with you all.”

    John Dockus

    P.S. This is for Brandie: I don’t know if you’ve tuned out, Brandie. But I haven’t forgotten about you out there. Much of how all this began, now that the dust has settled, is coming into clearer focus for me. I can see now why you expressed respect for Courtney and hope that you can keep an enlivening spark between you which quickens the spirit of you both. I personally haven’t taken any side here, and hope these interactions haven’t made you feel like you’ve lost your voice, now hesitating to speak your mind. “…we are all on our own individual journey and at different places in our paths.” My own taste in art is incredibly broad and far-ranging. I’d even be fascinated going to an old age home and seeing what the elders there do in a watercolor painting class. The waning and broken-down spirit, which has years of experience behind it, can be sad through the monotonous gloom but also profoundly moving. Failing powers trying to capture the dying light. I love high art, but I also love folk art, art by kids, art by the mentally unstable, art made by those who have no training but real passion and believe in what they’re doing. I feel the same about your poem posted here as I did when I first encountered it. Same goes for music. I listen to demos too, the ones which are all murky and show a band just beginning to find its identity.

    My personal feeling is that students of an art have just as much to teach the teacher, and it’s a bad teacher who doesn’t recognize the fact that in the student they’re being given unformed clay. Bad teachers leave the students in a worse state in which they found them, not realizing they are also leaving themselves misshapen lumps in the student’s regard. Good teachers, on the other hand, with their skill and intelligence and wisdom, shape the clay and make something of it, and by so doing, are also shaping themselves.

    P.P.S. Lastly, this to you, Keith: thanks for the little interjected notes of encouragement. I’m still feeling out what kind of character is here, presiding over this blog. I can do satire along with you, and I”ll fight fire with fire when need be, but just as you do, I have other facets to my character. I was just about to check out, because at the end of the day, I want to make my own art, and not be wasting my time and energy. It’s good to know that you’re not only gleeful about destruction, fights, going over the top with it all, but have as much appreciation for the nurturing and creative side of things. There’s a time to tear down, but there’s also a time to build up. Now I have a sense you recognize this, and I feel more comfortable and welcome placing my thoughts here.

    • #28 by Keith Spillett on August 13, 2014 - 5:52 AM

      I just really enjoy being part of an honest exchange. There is a bravery in that which I really admire and hope to emulate. While this conversation has been brutal at times, not one bit of it has been inauthentic. I really appreciate that.

      It’s great having you participate in this odd experiment of a website and you are always welcome.

    • #29 by Courtney on August 13, 2014 - 9:34 AM

      I’ve purposely not responded to these comments much so that I might have some time to let everything simmer and come to my own feelings/thoughts naturally. And this morning, I finally have a few things to say:
      Ultimately I still feel the same about the “poem” in question. I still feel it was a very lackluster, clichéd attempt at expression. Had she written in proper form I’d probably still feel that way. The content just doesn’t make sense to me. I realize as with ALL art the subject matter is open to the viewer/reader’s interpretation, but I just wasn’t able to identify because of the way it was written. It’s very confusing. Bottom line there is that I still hold the same opinion. It’s not good. I can’t even find the supposed “passion” and “bravery” in the situation that the rest of you have seen.

      I will never apologize for my honesty, but I can apologize for my execution. I’m sure there are more subtle ways I could have expressed my distaste, but I’m not really a subtle person nor do I feel the need to censor myself in order to coddle the feelings and emotions of complete strangers. I certainly don’t expect anyone to do that for me. And if “just brandie” shouldn’t have to apologize for who she is, neither should I…

      @johndockus: First, I find it absolutely ridiculous that you have been somewhat “scolding” me regarding my behavior towards “just brandie” but have yet to say ANYTHING to her about her MUCH more aggressive and insulting comments to me. Obviously, I’m not the kind of woman that needs white-knighting, but I’m still perplexed as to why you needed to point out my flaws and none of “just brandie’s” so very obvious faults. (This type of thing is exactly why I was triggered to comment on the poem in the first place.)

      Second, I appreciate you taking the time to read what I’ve put out there. I am an extremely private person and only put that work on my DA account at the absolute insistence of a friend. I don’t claim to be a “great writer” but I know I have some minimal talent. I appreciate all your feedback and do realize I have some issues of my own, particularly with flow. And you are absolutely correct, when I have an idea I can tend to force it sometimes. Just to put it out there. I am not formally educated. No art school. Not an English major. No pro. gigs. Where I come from with my writing and with most of the rest of my personality is experience, heart, passion, and pain. I do it for release. I do it because it’s there, in me and it’s the only form of TRUE communication I know. THAT is why I am so perturbed at the audacious claims that “Shame” is a poem. THAT is why I am bothered by the utter lack of respect for the craft. You can’t just throw parts together and call it an engine. In the same respect you can’t just throw words together and call it a poem…no matter how “honest” and “brave” it is.

      In regard to your comments about the lyrical/musical tendency in my work, no, I haven’t been involved in any part of the music industry. I write for me. I also have a difficult time with collaborations of any medium because…well…because I’m an Aries and a pretty typical one, at that.
      You will see a lot of inspiration from music in my writing, though. I’m pretty obsessed with extreme metal. I’m also inspired HUGELY by Baudelaire. My all time favorite poet. The reason I am always saying I will learn to speak French.

      Lastly, the quote from my DA is a philosophy I really do TRY to live by, but as you know I am only human and humans are deeply inclined to error. I’m still learning. Don’t claim to have ANY answers. The quote is actually part of the “about me” section of my business website, but I wrote it and try to live by it. I’m not sure I apply it in the same way you do/would, though. Just because I respect someone’s right to their own ideas and understand that we are all learning IN NO WAY means I feel the need to censor myself or my opinions. We’re all grownups. My philosophy doesn’t mean I have to be nice all the time. That would be deeply inauthentic.

      And btw, JohnDockus, if you’d like to continue this conversation OFF Keith’s post feel free to email me:

      • #30 by johndockus on August 13, 2014 - 12:34 PM

        Excellent and thorough reply, Courtney. Can two Aries be friends? I happen to be Aries too. I don’t really believe however in horoscopes and astrology. Maybe that’s a trait of Aries. Who knows. One can project anything into those intuition-essences, and adapt interpretation to virtually anything. I’m intensely private too; in person I’m whimsical, free-associating, love good humor, both high and low, and have a kind of shyness, though I’ve grown out of that somewhat the older I’ve become. I’ve never been one who likes being the center of attention. Nor do I need to be right all the time. I’m a pretty good-natured man, when all is said and done.

        I don’t feel a need to add much more to all this that’s been written. All the elements have settled down and there’s been a return to a natural place. You’ve acknowledged the points I’ve made, in your full honesty and integrity, and I appreciate it immensely. My so-called “White Knightism” – whatever, in fact I’ve been arguing in defense of a principle. Brandie has just been the occasion. There is a meanness about you which I don’t like, flatter yourself and call it honesty all the time if you like, but it’s a reason I’ll stay at a distance from you. I’m not going into “White Knight” mode stating this. I state this for myself. Be the Aries that you are. Jokester that I am, I hand you the pool-cue chalk for your sharp horns. Anyway, we’ve taken a longer road than was probably necessary to arrive here, a crooked road, but overall I’ve enjoyed it nonetheless. As Keith has written, it’s a great pleasure to be involved in an honest exchange.

        John Dockus

  17. #31 by just brandie on August 14, 2014 - 10:50 PM

    I like most have a life that can not be put on hold for to long. So if you thought I’d given up, you thought wrong. Courtney even though you despise me I know without a doubt my poem “Shame” is something you admire. Poetry is felt it stirs emotions it brings you to tears. If it is really good you will feel the very depths of anothers journey. It brings the true love you never knew and kisses you with a driving passion taking your breath as your heart beats. true poetry is a reminder we are not dead but alive watching life pass us by. It echo’s in our mind bringing back forgotten times even ones suppressed for they were unbearably heavy to carry thru life. You may not have liked my poem Courtney but one cannot deny it moved you to the point where obsessive comes to mind. So thank you for sharing your feelings. As I pointed out before its your Shame and you can’t force it on me or anyone else.

  18. #32 by just brandie on August 14, 2014 - 11:18 PM

    I don’t expect everyone to like or understand my poem Shame. But does it make sense for someone to repeatedly say they hate it and continue to dissect it in every way. I’m proud of my work and have no problem defending those words for which I chose to dispose my ugly truths. The only question that should be asked is, Who loved me yet hated me even more.

  19. #33 by johndockus on August 15, 2014 - 12:25 AM

    Very curious words, Brandie, poetic in their own right. Courtney made some very good critical remarks about a poem’s construction. She is a good poet with talent, and I sincerely wish her well and am interested what she might produce in the future. I think she holds promise. At the same time, I never doubted the realness and depth of your feelings. What you express I would never devalue. Maybe this is the crux of the argument going on here. We’re human before we’re “artists”. That’s the thing I’ve had my eye on from the beginning, and why, in whatever way it comes out, I never dismiss what another expresses. I don’t judge another’s words only on the grounds of art, though to be sure, I’d prefer everything that comes out of us to be art, elevated and crystalline, and in perfect form, but it’s just not possible. We’re not gods, we’re human beings. There are times I’d say we become gods, in states of art, and Courtney must have experienced it. I know I have. I’ve had my mystical experiences and been suffused with otherworldly power, feeling like a seer, a shaman, a magus. But it has humbled me, not made me arrogant. In my times of come-down, it has made me feel more human, vulnerable and sensitive, and more grateful and generous. There was a time I was arrogant, but then I looked back and reflected, and it dawned on me I was being a conceited asshole. I know the godlike state can’t be lived in, but I want to be there again, absolutely, and that’s why we create art. I think I’d kill myself or go insane if there wasn’t art.

    I can also say I’ve suffered depressions where I’ve lost the ability to speak and express myself completely. At those times, it was a miracle if I could put two sentences together. How you’re writing, Brandie, makes me wonder what kind of an emotional space you’re in presently, and if you’re okay. I have a sister I love who suffered an incredible emotional breakdown, and it was absolutely frightful and horrifying to me communicating with her during that time. Nothing I said got through to her. Her center had dropped out, and she was drowning. She tried to cling to anything to keep her head above water. She became obsessive about her central love relationship, about her past relationships, overanalyzing everything, just grabbing hold, trying to find something solid in herself with value. But when she expressed herself only shards came out, which cut her throat, or vomit, chunky puddles of words, with no form, and a bad odor. Just think how utterly out of place it would have been for me if I were to judge the words coming out of her at that time according to highest standards of poetry as an art. It’s during times like those that one realizes the impotence of words. They don’t hold the key to all the mysteries of life.

    I’m partly to blame for drawing Courtney out of herself and her elaborating what she feels is weak in your Shame poem, from the standpoint of a gifted poetess. I don’t think she’d have done that if I hadn’t written my own comments. And I think she did offer her kind of apology, admitting what she herself could’ve done a little better, as well as making some exceedingly good points. We can open up an entirely new chapter for discussion on the Art of Listening to each other.

    Anyway, forget Courtney. Stand out from her shadow. You cast your own. Do you have any other poetic attempts or prosy poems which deal with other subjects? I’m one who would read them. My heartfelt best wishes to you –

    John Dockus

  20. #34 by johndockus on August 15, 2014 - 4:17 AM

    A note to you Brandie, an insight which may help: I was thinking maybe another form would be better suited to what you have to express, for your creative impulse to run free in. Courtney mentioned in one of her comments about your poem that it strikes her more as being prose, and that’s not untrue. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing in prose instead of poetry. I write in prose. I like the freedom and openness, and I feel there’s a bedrock power in plainness, an archaic naiveté of sensibility which if harnessed can as well as any poem lead one into the Enchanted Realm of Art. Poetry is another animal, and it’s not for everyone. Where to Courtney the sonnet form may contain the possibility of creating her own jewel, to you and I it feels more like a strait-jacket. I don’t think I could write a good sonnet. If I tried and showed Courtney, clouds would surely collect around her brow as she morphed into a Bolt Thrower (ball on tee for you, Keith).

    Reading these snatches of words from you, Brandie, I like something about them. They’re compact and concentrated; it’s clear you put some work in them, thought about them. I sense a latent power in the odd and quirky rhythm in them which is peculiar to you, which one reading them desires to be released into the open and drawn out more, and maybe in the field of prose would be the best place for you to do that, for the flowering of your own voice. So why not forget about “poetry” per se, and create more in free-form in prose. Again, absolutely nothing wrong with prose. Each artist must also find what best suits her, temperamentally, and in forms, materials used, and so forth. Think about it in terms of fashion. There are different body types, different facial features, hair and eye colors. What looks good on one women, may look awful on another women. Same could be said of art and the choices the artist makes for dressing and adorning the soul and spirit.

    John Dockus

  21. #35 by Dave on August 16, 2014 - 6:08 PM

    And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

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