I Don’t Write Poetry
Lionel continues playing with his pen, making the tip appear and disappear as he contemplates the pack of papers laying before him. He disregards the glares from his fellow classmates, seemingly increasing his pen-clicking as to infuriate them further, and lets a small spiteful smirk play on his lips before letting them resume a frustrated grim line. He feels his right eye begin to twitch and he knows he’s mere seconds from crumpling his test. But that would lead to problems. Problems that he wouldn’t have the energy to deal with.
Perfect marks, always perfect marks on everything. Not only is it tradition for him to receive a 100%, but anything less would result in a chunk of his pride to be ripped away from him. He simply could not stand the blow. It is not acceptable.
And yet… here he sits, angry and disappointed. In himself? Of course not. It’s not his fault his teacher is a hopeless…..hippie. He snorts, quickly covering it up with a cough when he notices the strange looks he receives. What sort of English teacher ends their test with a question like that. And not just any old test, but a midterm.
Hippies do, that’s what.
Think of yourself as a talented poet and write a poem expressing your current emotions and feelings.
He eyes her out of the corner of his eye as she hovers around her students, weaving in and out of the rows of desks, and peaking over their shoulders to check on their progress. Rolling his eyes, he then returns his gaze back to the sheets in front of him pondering over what to do in his current dilemma. It’s not that he can’t complete the task. It’s that he doesn’t want to. Feelings equal vulnerability. They are like the ugly scars you get after being in a blade fight.
You hide scars.
Only idiots don’t cover them up.
Only fools believe the notion that showing them off causes elevated social status.
And so retards share their feelings openly. All the while, subjecting themselves to the likely impending attacks from others whom once seeing their enemies’ weakened emotional state, decide to take the advantage offered and cut them down into tiny pieces of broken self esteem and heartache. So why do it? Why ‘proudly’ show your scars and willingly allow people to take another stab at them? Why open yourself that much?
And not only that, but feelings, emotions, and thoughts are more of a personal thing, or at least they should be. If they had been meant to be public then they would always be displayed openly and publicly, not internally and up for the option of being revealed.
If it were up to him, everyone would follow his similar aesthetic. Always smiles, grins, and polite nods and remarks. Everyone would get along and none would be the wiser to the hidden raging demons within their peers.
At the very least, we could all enjoy moments of peace relieved of screeching or crying females who faithfully believe others care about their problems.
What a blissful thought.
“Everyone! We have 10 minutes left to complete your tests, you should be nearing the end by now”
He snaps back to reality. Damn.
He really doesn’t want to write a poem. Especially about such a revolting topic. Feelings. Feelings. Feelings. Feelings.
He very well can’t turn in his test incomplete though and so resigned, he clicks his pen a final time and leans over his test packet again. If his hippie of a teacher wanted him to “share his feelings” and play Barney with her, fine. He’ll do it.
He’d do it his way. Let it be known that Lionel Richards is a man of strength and that no mere 5’3″ wisp of a woman was going to conquer his stubborn pride. She’ll receive a poem devoid of any real emotion and she’ll have to deal with the immaturity he was about to offer her.
And so Lionel sets to work and as he writes the only hint that he’s enjoying himself is the corners of his eyes crinkling with amusement every now and again. The minutes go by, seconds whirl past his head, and he is so focused that he almost misses the sound of the bell as he signs the poem with a flourish of his pen. He gets up, plasters a smile on his face, and makes his way to his teacher’s desk.
“Here’s my midterm, Mrs. Cheris.”
“Thanks, Lionel. Did you find it easy as always?” And he notices a suspicious twinkle grow in her eyes as she says this.
Carefully he responded, “Yes, I did, although I found it a bit different from your past tests.”
“Well, it is a midterm after all. Of course it’d be different, maybe a bit challenging you might say.” There. There it is again. The glint. A happy malicious glint shines from her eyes as she stares up at him. Realization runs through him as he catches the grin tugging at her lips while she speaks to him. “I thought it’d be a good idea to make it more interesting as some of my students seem to fine my class a bit too easy or boring. And I thought it’d be helpful in getting some to branch out, open up, and explore some of their hidden abilities.”
Lionel’s eyes narrow slightly above the smile he’s wearing. “Well, I’m sure you accomplished your goals, Mrs. Cheris.”
“I’m sure, I did.” And then she turns back to her desk, her hand clutching his test as if it were like some scared baby deer ready to bolt away from her given the opportunity.
He knows she’ll read it as soon as he leaves the room.
She’s probably dying of excitement thinking she has me beat.
But, no, she doesn’t. And he can’t wait for her to find out. He walks out the room with triumph in his eyes as he yet again bested his teacher in her attempts to force him out of his shell. Silly Hippie, he thinks with fondness.
Hearing the door close, she quickly flips the pages of Lionel’s test packet to the last one, her eyes eagerly roaming down to the last question. She shivers with excitement. Finally.
She’s not sure of when their little war had started, but she knew that she’d win it by the end of the year. Actually, she’s quite surprised to have conquered him so quickly and easily. She was positive that it’d take more for him to crack like Humpty Dumpty than just writing a poem. She loved all her students and she especially loved forming bonds with them. Yeah, she was old fashioned, but she truly wanted to have relationships with all the teens she taught. They weren’t just students, they were possible friends that would later visit her even after they graduated. She’d be a good influence in their successful lives.
And this is why it was so frustrating when a certain individual refused to allow her to do anything of the sort. All conversations and discussions with Lionel were polite, nice, and sweet. But that was all. They were missing something. She couldn’t put her finger on what until one day when she saw him smile and heard him converse with a classmate that she realized that it wasn’t that they were missing something, but that there was nothing there to begin with.
Even his work reflected the same. Utter perfection and flawlessness. He understood everything taught to him and he absorbed it all like a sponge and yet there was no fire in the answers he’d give her. No fear of being wrong wafted in the air like so many of the papers of other students she had graded. There wasn’t even any of the passion of being right that reflected from his work either. It was all so perfect and yet so wrong.
And it worried her.
And so she played these games if only for the sake of finding substance within her student. Substance that she’d then coax into blossoming.
Her eyes softened at the mere thought. She couldn’t wait.
And so she looked back at his test and reads his poem, already anticipating all sorts of the feelings he poured out into the work. As she continues reading, her smile drops and her face darkens for a moment before she throws her head back and laughs. Of course, she should’ve known she hadn’t won. He’d never give in that easily. Still chuckling she grabs her red pen and marks the paper, his being the first to be graded.
100% as she’d knows he’d known he’d get.
A poem’s a poem and he hadn’t missed a single question.
And then because she’s feeling a little let down she comments along side his work of “art”.
See me later to discuss this.
There, let him sweat a little and suffer another talk with her. He may have won yet again, but she still had half the year left.
Poets Commit Suicide
When looking at poems I feel strangely,
like, I don’t know whether I should smile or cry,
because I see no reason for them.
And while I guess it must be tedious
for poets to rhyme and rhyme
or paint images in our heads in attempts to prove skill;
I see no point.
Why be a poet?
Why write lines?
There’s never really anything to show for it,
There’s nothing momentous being left behind.
Feelings and Emotions are redundant.
Just look at all the past poetry “greats”.
Out of them all, more than half had bitter ends,
More than half of those lives were waste.
Poets commit suicide.
I feel like to be a poet means to sign your death warrant,
and to write poetry, your eulogy.
I don’t want to die.
I feel like I have much to live for.
I feel like not being a poet.
And so I won’t be one.
No matter the cause,
No matter the place,
I will not give in.
I feel strongly about this.
I’m positive I want a long and fruitful life.
Just to think of all the stuff I’d miss
if I were to become a poet,
puts me in a sad, bad mood.
I won’t write poetry, Ms. Cheris.
– Lionel Richards
Posted on October 18, 2013, in My Writings, Short Stories and tagged battle of wits, change, deep thinking, emotions, emptiness, feelings, Hippie, Poet, Poetry, short story, Thought. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.