Robb used to say he couldn’t enjoy barbecued ribs because they were “too much work for not enough meat.”
I might feel this way about poetry.
* * *
It’s possible that I wrote this in a bit of a fit. Or a bit of a snit. Whatever. I was in a bit of something, and then I drew a quick metaphor and threw it out into the world like vomit on the sidewalk.
Here’s the thing I’d like to clarify, now that the nausea has subsided.
I respect poetry, and even more, I respect poets. They can paint verbal pictures with almost no words at all. I have a friend who has sent me the e-equivalent of reams of poetry, nearly every day since Robb died. And I have always been swept away. Swept away, I tell you.
I have many friends who are poets. They are masterful. Song writers are poets. Take out the melody and you’ve got yourself a poem.
I think my brain just doesn’t work this way. I think I might not really be a critical reader in the first place. I like to read because I like to read. Tell me a story, and I’ll enjoy it in the telling. Give me a road map to figure out what you’re saying, and I might miss the whole point because I was listening to what you were saying, not what you meant.
(I am this way in friendships, too. Please, just be real. Just let me enjoy you and not have to piece you together with what you really meant for me to know.)
So, anyway, poetry is great, grand, beautiful, and right.
And I am not a poet. And Robb didn’t like barbeque ribs.