Tuesday, April 30, 2019

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 30 + Poems in April 2019 Day 30: Thank You Jimi

Copyright Nico van der Stam

I want to thank you
For some much-needed wisdom
Across many years


I watched the Jimi Hendrix documentary, Voodoo Child, this evening. 
I didn't really become a Jimi Hendrix fan until I was in my teens. He died when I was only five years old. I saw a documentary about him when I was eighteen or nineteen, and it was good, but this documentary reveals more of his personal thoughts. He was brilliant and he left a lot of wisdom for the world. 
The wisdom he imparted to me today is to stop looking for adulation and approval from others. This is something that I've struggled with my entire life.
When asked how it felt to receive so many compliments about his work, Jimi said that he really didn't care about compliments, in fact, he found that they distracted him from what was important: creation.
I think that's what it really means to be secure in oneself. Not so much thinking that one is flawless, but to be able to see the worth of one's goals and actions regardless of the opinions of the masses. 
Lots of views and comments stroke the needy ego of the insecure and wounded child that remains within the crusty, curmudgeonly, and likely not at all tasty exterior shell which houses my soul. 
This becomes a distraction to the creator. I start wanting to please my visitors rather than express myself through my words.
Next time I get stuck in that unharmonious groove, I need to remember Jimi's wise thoughts on the matter.
I will always be a fan of Jimi Hendrix the musician. 
Perhaps most people won't understand this, but that doesn't matter.
I also appreciate Jimi Hendrix the philosopher, and I'm grateful for the wisdom and works that he left behind.
(Don't move: this has been a Haibun!)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Unsurprising News Flash: Cie is a Loser

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

So, the results are in from the April story competition, and to nobody's surprise, the Universe's biggest loser is, as usual, not even an also-ran. I really don't know why I keep doing this to myself.
I tried to comment on everyone's sites, but a lot of Wordpress filters are very aggressive and assume my comments are Spam. I did my best.
I really hate myself for reading the post because I am a very odd writer (and a very odd person) and I do not win things. I don't care, but I have this really crappy inner critic who will berate me for it until doomsday. I used to destroy any story I wrote which was rejected for publication or from a contest such as this one. It was literally physically painful to do that, so I don't do it anymore.
I am stunningly, astoundingly, earth-shatteringly bad at everything, and I don't know why the hell I even try. I am not a winner. I am not even a placer.
When I was in high school, I came in dead last in a cross-country race. My father wanted me to be a runner. I really didn't, but I would have done better running sprints. I've never been a good distance runner.
That race was kind of a foreshadowing for my entire life.
I will always be last.
I will always be unwanted.
I was always the last one picked for teams.
I will never be anyone's first choice.
I'm the kid who got invited to birthdays only because the birthday boy or girl's parents made them invite me.
It does not feel good being the one nobody wants.
It does not feel good always being the odd one out.
It does not feel good being me.

~Cie the Loser~

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 29+ Poems in April Day 29: Asking Questions With Eyes Rolled Back

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Annoying content warning:
Poem contains profanity
If you have a problem with that, don't read it

Were you born to ramble
Or do you just run when things get serious
Do you read Baudelaire
Or do you just claim to do whatever makes you seem educated
Are you the kind who has to go and shoot your rockets everywhere
Do you know how many of your kind I've known
Do you know that you bore me to death
Do you know that you aren't nearly as slick as you think you are
Do you know that I'm sick of driving around with my eyes closed
Do you know that I can smell your bullshit from a mile away
Do you know I already know that this feeling doesn't go both ways, no matter what you say
Do you know how utterly fucking transparent you are
Do you know that I got sick of guys like you a long time ago
Do you know that I no longer waste my time on time wasters
Do you know that I don't abide liars
Why don't you crawl back under the rock that you crawled out from in the first place
Do you know that you seem like a creep rather than a suave, smooth sheik
Do you know that I'm sick of guys like you who think they can crawl into a woman's heart and tear it apart without a second thought for what they've done
Did you know I'm done
Did you know I'm long past done
Did you know I'm already gone


NaPoWriMo asked for a poem which reflects in a calm way on a subject that is generally emotionally charged.
Poems in April asked for a poem made up of questions.
In my younger days, I constantly berated myself, wondering what I did wrong to draw only the worst kind of guys to me.
The fact of the matter is, these guys were predators and clowns. 
They were the kind of guys who deliberately seek out someone with low self-esteem because they think they will have an easier chance of getting laid with someone who is insecure.
A joker of this caliber isn't worth anybody's time. 
I can reflect on it calmly now because I despise the whole dating/mating dance and refuse to play that game anymore.
It hurt me a lot back then. But from my current vantage point, I can honestly say, it wasn't me, it was them.

Song References:

Sunday, April 28, 2019

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 28 + Poems in April 2019 Day 28: Major Changes

Greetings from Grover, Colorado

Guess we're making an offer on a place that is
Really in the middle of nowhere
On the outskirts of the outskirts
Very far back in the backwater
Everything in the past leading us to this
Rural hotel in a very tiny town

Can't imagine that most folks would want to
Own a place that's such a 
Long way from everything
Out on the Northeastern plains
Rippling grasses and whispering winds
Accentuate the solitude
Dreary it may seem to most
Only the broken dream of such a view


A daunting move filled with possibilities.
This place appears in the dictionary next to the phrase "fixer-upper" and the word "boonies."
It is zoned as a multi-use property and has given new life to my dead dreams.
This may be the most important move I will ever make.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Mental Illness and Comments

I wanted to share this because I go through this a lot. The original post is here.

As a writer, i adore comments, and i treasure all of them. I do my best to respond to them, as quickly as i can. But as a mentally ill prrson, sometimes it's overwhelming -- especially when the comment is really long, and i end up putting it off because im depressed or anxious. Is there a cut off to replying to a comment, in your opinion? If i wait too long, should i just not answer at all? I just feel embarrassed and rude after a while...


I have the same issues and I also feel guilty and anxious about replying, but speaking as someone who has replied over 6 months later on more than one occasion, if anyone minds I’ve never heard about it. 

I generally apologize for my lateness within my reply (even if I’m replying to the same person multiple times - I feel that bad), and if they do reply back they tell me not to worry about it. 

I’ve also put it out on my personal blog that I’m sorry I’m so late replying and people are generally speaking really understanding about it. 

Do your best. It’s all you can do. Don’t feel guilty for not doing more. ❤

Friday, April 26, 2019

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 26 + Poems in April 2019 Day 26: Creatures of Colorado

 Copyright Karin Gustafson

Surely there will be
Birds in north Colorado
Maybe some red ones

Copyright Karin Gustafson

Maybe there will be
Bears in north Colorado
I hope not too close

Copyright Karin Gustafson

Maybe a ghost will
Haunt northern Colorado
That ghost will be me


Will wonders never cease, I think I actually fulfilled the criteria for both prompts.
The NaPoWriMo prompt asked for repetition.
The Poems in April asked for writing about rebirth.
If my son and I do move to the small town mentioned in the previous poem, it will be a rebirth.
You see, even stopped clock is right twice a day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Writing In The Crosshairs: S is For ... WEP_RIF

Writing In The Crosshairs: S is For ... WEP_RIF: (583 Words) RIF It sounded like a term in music.   "Let me play you a RIF  from my latest song."


So heartbreaking. I'm rather certain that my life will end something like this, and I hope that my Lafayette and Trinity will be waiting for me when I get there. To other people they were "just cats" but to me they were everything.
My life has been difficult due to a myriad of psychological and physical issues, and people don't really understand or like me. Much of the time I just wish it could be over. 

Yas Qween! Jameela Jamil on Size Discrimination

If calories in-calories out were true, I would be underweight. I am food insecure and only eat one or two meals a day. Being diabetic means that I should be eating regularly, but I can’t afford to. 

My endocrine system is a dumpster fire. It is highly unlikely that I will ever be thin unless I become critically ill.

People get angry about having to give up their hateful attitudes towards larger people because they’ll be losing their scapegoat. There are a lot of really pathetic, petty people who need to have someone they can stomp on in order to make themselves feel powerful. These are shitty people, and I don’t see any reason to continue kissing their asses.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Inspire Me Monday #224 + Spread the Kindness #119: Real Cie Reviews: Eighth Grade

This post is a duplicate of my review of this product for Amazon.

4 out of 5 stars

Elsie Fisher does a marvelous job as the insecure, likable Kayla and Josh Hamilton plays his role as the sweet but sometimes irritatingly out-of-touch and overprotective dad perfectly. Kayla's high school mentor Olivia is adorable if a bit clueless. There is the eye-roll-inducing stereotypical pretty mean girl Kennedy, and Kayla's crush Aiden has all the personality of wallpaper paste.
The movie does a nice job of addressing sensitive subject matter such as Kayla's panic attacks. I was a teenager in the late seventies and early eighties, and was unable to discuss my psychological issues with anyone for fear of being placed on a psych ward or dismissed as "seeking attention" or being "overly dramatic." When I read about bipolar disorder (then called manic depression) in my junior year psychology class, I recognized myself in a lot of the symptoms. I approached the subject with the teacher and she told me I couldn't be manic depressive because manic depression was a psychosis and I wasn't psychotic. I would not be properly diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder until I was nearly 40 years old.  If nothing else, movies such as this one approach issues such as panic attacks without pathologizing the person suffering from them.
The movie also does a good job of addressing the pressure on teens, particularly teenage girls, to be sexy and sexually active. Olivia's creepy friend Riley attempts to pressure Kayla into removing her shirt during a game of Truth or Dare when they are alone in his car together, and Kayla's crush Aiden is rumored to have broken up with a previous girlfriend because she wouldn't send him nude photos.
The movie is appropriate for teenagers. Kayla is a relatable character, an ordinary and likable if socially awkward young woman. I found myself thinking that it was a shame for her to waste any time or energy on a shallow, self-absorbed twit like Kennedy or a limp dishrag like Aiden. 
Teens struggling with feeling like they don't fit in and those of us who used to be (and sometimes still are) the odd one out will feel a kinship with Kayla and be proud of her as she learns to stand up for herself.


Also sharing to the Spread the Kindness blog hop on Tuesday April 23, 2019.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 22 + Poems in April Day 22: My Vicious Villanelle: 1000% Done

At this stage of the game, I'm done with rules
I'm tired of word counts and prompts of the day
I've decided that rules are for fools

I could write about my family jewels
But they're all plastic anyway
At this stage of the game, I'm done with rules

I could create something with power tools
With drills and chain saws I could play
I've decided that rules are for fools

I could see about going back to school
But I'd probably just cut class anyway
At this stage of the game, I'm done with rules

I don't want to be so mean and cruel
But I must say, for the end of prompts I pray
I've decided that rules are for fools

The calendar says that the end is in sight
So though I wish I could quit I guess I'll stay
At this stage of the game, I'm done with rules
I've decided that rules are for fools


I've always said that I write two kinds of poems: dark and silly.
I'm a despicable liar.
I actually write three kinds of poems.
Dark, silly, and snarky.
Guess which kind this is.

Friday, April 19, 2019

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 19 + Poems in April Day 1 & 19: Aprils Ago

Per Ohlin
17 January 1969 - 8 April 1991
Death by a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Aprils ago a
Broken spirit
Found me
His passing
Just thinking
Kind thoughts and holding
Love in my heart
No difference
Protecting a soul
Quite so
Raw and
Sad was
Vain regretting
While wishing that
Xolotl would guide
You to the spirit world by a gentle


Seldom have I encountered a more troubled soul than Per Ohlin. As my lovely friend, the late Walt Cessna would have said, he was fukt 2 start wit. 
(This was the title of Walt's autobiography. He said that I inspired him to actually sit down and write it. I have always treasured this knowledge. Walt died from complications of AIDS.)
I sometimes become overwhelmed and try to bury my empathic nature. It doesn't stay buried for long. Maybe a minute, maybe an hour, rarely more than a day, and then, as Per once wrote, up from the tomb it comes. I can't ignore the soul calls for long.
I wish I had known about the phenomenon of soul calls when I was younger. It could have saved me a lot of grief, but it's too late now. Anyone who is of a metaphysical mind is welcome to read about this issue here. For anyone who is not of a metaphysical mind, do us both a favor and don't bother. This isn't the high school debate team, I'm tired, and I have no desire to bend anyone to my own particular set of beliefs. 
I am utilizing the Poems in April prompts again, but I am not joining up with the Linky in order to prevent another barney from brewing. Instead, I will comment on a few poems from people who have been kind and supportive along the way. Bit of a shame as I was getting a kick out of having so many visitors, but I find confrontation stressful, so best to keep that gate shut, I think.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 18: A Soul Dull and Filled with Pain

I Blinked and the World Was Gone Version 5
Copyright The Real Cie

A life lost and lonely from first cry
A soul not soothed by any lullaby
Days are hopeless, dull, and filled with pain
Till the moment when the unwanted ones are left alone to die


The poem style is Rubai. This is a brief poetry form requiring the story to be told in four lines. I believe I have accomplished this.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Bitch is Back

Image copyright Pezibear on Pixabay

All right, you've all met my wounded inner child and I had a day where I crashed and burned. As I said, I do not do well with confrontation. However, I bounce back more quickly than I used to, and today, the bitch is back. Now, meet my sassy inner child and my asshole super-ego.
I had made the decision to stop participating in the Poems in April prompts, but I rescind that decision at this point. I had an absolutely odious interaction with one individual, which is what caused my meltdown. I don't tolerate being patronized or told that my truth is a fabrication. 
The preceding statement remains true. But overall, my interactions with people from this link-up have been super positive, and I'm not going to allow, as Inspector Tom Barnaby would say, a barney with a person whose condescension towards me caused my temper to go nova to stop me from making positive connections.
Around these parts, the heart and soul take precedence over credentials every time. I honestly don't give a flying flea-bitten fuck in hell what your credentials are. I care about who you are and how you treat others. I don't care if you have a Doctorate in Everything or if you dropped out of kindergarten. A fuck I don't give. 

Look, obviously it's pretty impressive if you managed to get a Doctorate in Everything or even a Doctorate in Anything. Or a Master's. Or a Bachelors. Or an Associate's Degree. Or even if you managed to graduate high school. Or if you got a GED. Credentials mean you worked through a program, and the higher the program, one assumes the more knowledge you obtained. It still doesn't make your thoughts any more important than the thoughts of people who have not obtained the level of certification that you have.
I care about your heart. I care about your soul. I give not one single fuck about your credentials. Do not expend your energy bragging about your credentials to me. I probably care more about the ingredient list on my bottle of cold brew coffee from Stok. Coffee. Almond milk. Cane sugar. Chocolate syrup. The good stuff!
Unless you are performing a service for me where credentials are important (i.e. I don't want you operating on me unless you are an actual surgeon) please reserve your bragging about your credentials to your own damn space. Nobody here cares.
That being said, I am not going to allow a thoroughly odious interaction with one person stop me from forming connections with the vastly greater number of good and supportive people. They have shown me their support, and I want to do the same for them. 
In the future, to prevent another donnybrook, I will refrain from interacting with the individual who lit my fuse in the first place. I may possess the soul of a ten-year-old child (I learn best by playing games and I have a collection of several hundred stuffed animals) but I am capable of behaving like a civilized adult. With people I don't get on with, I find the best course of action is to forego communication with said individual. Unless they insist on poking the bear, the problem should be solved.
Here's Twisted Sister to tell it like it is.
As one commenter said, I've never seen anyone so angry about carrots.
The disobedient son in the video is played by the video director's son. The angry dad is played by Mark "Douglas C. Neidermeyer" Metcalf.


NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 17: A Quatern In Memory of Rachel

Image by Katja Just from Pixabay

Dear Rachel, you were my good friend
In many ways, your life was hard
You came from humble beginnings
Were buried in a pauper's grave

Strange that you've been gone ten years
Dear Rachel, you were my good friend
One of the few to accept me
One of the few to know my heart

Wish I could have done more to help
Though there were many miles between
Dear Rachel, you were my good friend
I have never forgotten you

I wish you hadn't died alone
Wish I could have been by your side
You were estranged from family
Dear Rachel, you were my good friend


Written in memory of my spirited friend
Rachel Lee (September 8, 1940 - April 17, 2009) who died of complications from diabetes. 
This isn't where Rachel is buried, but she would love this place.
We will meet again in a place like this.
The poem is a Quatern. (Duh.)
I didn't end up following the NaPoWriMo prompt.

I am no longer doing the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads Poems in April prompts.
While there were a lot of great people who made me feel like I might have found "my tribe", it became clear that I really didn't belong there, so I feel it's best that I distance myself. Thank you to those of you who were kind to this freak of nature. Maybe one day Rachel and I will have tea with you in a place like the lovely memorial garden pictured above.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Inevitable Nuclear Fireside Chat

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I've come a long way in keeping my temper in check from the days of my youth, but there are a few things that make me really hot under the collar, and then I overreact just a teeny tiny little bit and hit the red button with the nearest sledgehammer, sending the verbal nukes a-flyin'.
One thing that sets me off like nobody's business is the implication that I'm a liar or one of those self-important twits who would create a puff piece minimizing the struggles of a person with a cognitive, physical, or psychological impairment to prove how Deep and Poetical (TM) I am. I have ripped shit more than once on the kind of people who say things like "he's so autistic" or "she's so bipolar" when what they mean is "he's withdrawn and not socially adept" and "she's mercurial." Do NOT use people's health conditions as adjectives. It's really fucking rude.
Recently, I fired a real estate agent who believed that questioning my credibility would inspire me to "move quickly." Say whaaaaaat???? In what Universe does that even make sense? I remarked that this guy must have watched American Psycho and thought that it was a business training video. The lack of logic in this line of thinking is astounding.
Having my credibility questioned is a real sore point for me. All my life I've had people imply that I was "just looking for attention" or "being dramatic" or straight-up lying about my symptoms. I have a lot of physical issues that have never been resolved, and the scars on my arms are not the result of "seeking attention," fuck you very much. They are the result of having been in one whole fuckload of psychological pain and feeling like no-one was on my side.
Point of trivia: my ex-husband has Asperger's syndrome and I have bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. This combination proved to be oil and water. He is one of my great friends in this life and I have been very worried about him as he is having some serious health issues. But a marriage between such polar opposites in the neurodivergent spectrum proved to be a volatile combination and not sustainable.
Our son is autistic and has ADHD. He's strikingly intelligent, but his way of thinking and problem solving does not jibe with the modern education system. He learns by doing and is incapable of learning by reading textbooks. Yes, he can read. He is a prolific reader of the likes of Roger Zelazny (whose works I sometimes have trouble wrapping my brain around), Fred Saberhagen, Kurt Vonnegut, C.S. Lewis, Arthur C. Clarke, and J.R.R. Tolkien. He simply is unable to conform to the textbook-and-lecture style of learning.
I feel like the world is missing out on a lot of great talent by insisting that everybody look alike and dress alike and think alike and talk alike. The Stepford Wives was not an instruction manual.
One of the things that I loved about AC/DC, outside of their badass marriage of the blues to garage rock, was the fact that these cheeky-ass working-class bastards gave the middle finger to propriety at every turn. This doesn't mean they believed in being mean and stomping on other people. They themselves had been bullied and belittled and had quite enough of it. They were speaking up for the "mongrels", for the "ugly" people, for the people who had been told that they would never amount to anything because they were weird and different and not conventionally attractive. 
They were not a band for the ever upper-class high society. They were a band for the outcasts, like me. So, when I stood up for them when people started accusing them of "devil worship," I got pigeonholed as a devil worshiper too. It was pretty funny in retrospect. I went around throwing devil horns and evil grins at the idiots spreading the rumors. I was probably the biggest excitement they had in their narrow-minded lives.
Fun's fun, but the reality is that I always felt bad for these guys who really weren't doing anything wrong. I had a particular affinity for Malcolm Young, because he was painfully shy (like I am by nature), because he tended to be depressive (gee, I wouldn't know anything about that, I'm just your dyed-in-the-wool ray of fucking sunshine), and because I could see that he was actually a lot more sensitive than he let on. 
I have to confess that I was a bit jealous of the powerful bond of friendship that Malcolm had with Angus. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the other half of their soul born in the same lifetime. Forget having the other half of your soul be your guardian angel. Having them be your best bud is the way to roll!
In truth, most soul mate relationships I've observed have been platonic rather than romantic. Too much is made of the romantic soul mate bond. 
In fairness, I think that (romantic) love stinks, so take my previous statement however you wish. Take it with a couple of grains of sea salt. I use sea salt in my cooking. I recommend it.
All this is leading up to something. Bear with me.
I honestly think that there is a degree of elitism in the insistence on rigidly adhering to certain concepts. People who do not have access to higher education don't get to learn the niceties of iambic pentameter (I didn't even know what the hell that was until I was in my 50's) or what the hell ever. 
I didn't know the difference between a Haiku and a Senryu until I was in my 50's. I just liked the 5-7-5 pattern that I learned in the third grade or thereabouts and I enjoyed using it to express my dumb and worthless thoughts.
There's a lot of shit that I still don't know. It doesn't mean that I don't have the right to express my shit.
Similarly, there are a lot of musicians who are self-taught, who didn't have access to higher musical education, and, frankly, a lot of the time I like their work better than the works of those who have been properly trained. For instance, Chris Isaak (who, by the way, is an incredibly cool person) can't read music. He couldn't tell you what a pentatonic scale looks like, but if you were to play one for him, he would play it right back at you, embellish on it, and turn it into a really amazing song.
The slaves who sang the heart-rending spirituals on which the blues (a.k.a. the backbone of modern music) is based certainly did not have access to higher education about music or poetry. They sang to comfort themselves and their fellow slaves. They sang to convey messages. They did not express themselves in a "proper" fashion, but they damn well expressed themselves. They told their truth. They told their stories. And they had every right in the Universe to do both, propriety be damned!
As well, the idea that using profanity shows a lack of intelligence is elitist fuckery, and I don't have a whole lot to say to anyone who adheres to that foolish line of thinking.
I think I would have thrown myself from a precipice long ago if it weren't for the rule-breakers and "mongrels" of this world. I couldn't bear the idea of being shut in a room with a bunch of hoi-polloi. Pair me with the proletariat any day.
I do like to share my work, and for a while, it seems to go well enough. But I invariably learn the lesson that my truth is not pretty or polished enough and I am not sweet and sunny enough, and I end up saying "fuck it" and oozing back down the back alley from whence I crawled forth in the first place. 
I will never be acceptable. For the most part, I think that's a good thing. But it does get kind of lonely, so now and then I go against my own rule about not engaging and I engage. This is generally a mistake.
Live and learn. Again and again and again.
Now I have to unruffle my feathers so I can prepare the latest Carnal Invasion manuscript for publication via my seedy little company, Naughty Netherworld Press, purveyors of high-quality Kindle smut. These are supposed to be gleeful romps featuring a group of randy, shapeshifting aliens having a go with elementals, humans, vampires, werewolves and such, not a heaping helping of angry argleblargh by a pissed-off editor. I need to switch gears toot sweet.


Cracks me up every time. I did see an interview later where Malcolm revealed that the director for this set of videos behaved like a drill sergeant and they couldn't wait to get away from him. Angus spent the entire interview doubled over with laughter. Reporters had a tendency to interview the brothers separately because when they were together they tended to start smirking and chortling about some joke that only they were in on, and one couldn't get much useful information out of them.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 16 + Poems in April 2019 Day 16 & 5: Poetry As the Place Where the Spirit Within Hemorrhages Truth

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

You return whenever I write poetry
Troublesome little ghost
Not sugar and spice and everything nice
You mournful, shadowed thing

Troublesome little ghost
Your nights filled with wanting and regret
You mournful, shadow thing
Needing to bleed out your words

Your nights filled with wanting and regret
I allow you to emerge from my cold shell
Needing to bleed out your words
"The poem is the way," I say

I allow you to emerge from my cold shell
Offering truth a way to be set free
"The poem is the way," I say
You need not put on false airs with poetry

Offering truth a way to be set free
Poetry, I think, is ultimate honesty
You need not put on false airs with poetry
Or so it is that I have always believed

Poetry, I think, is ultimate honestly
You need not pretend to be aught but what you are
Or so it is that I have always believed
But there are those who disagree on poetry

You need not pretend to be aught but what you are
You need not present as light when you are shadow
But there are those who disagree on poetry
Poetry, they say, is the domain of sugar and spice

You need not present as light when you are shadow
Sad little ghost, pay no mind to the Poetry Police
Poetry, they say, is the domain of sugar and spice
Bleed your truth as freely as you need

Sad little ghost, pay no mind to the Poetry Police
You mournful, shadowed thing
Poetry, they say, is the domain of sugar and spice
You return whenever I write poetry


The poetic form is Pantoum. Fortunately, a Pantoum need not rhyme.
The Poems in April prompt #16 was to create a poem with a title starting with "Poetry As..."
The Poems in April prompt #5 was to describe a supernatural creature who is a troublesome housemate. I can think of no more troublesome a housemate than the child I once was who each day laments that the big dreams she had for her life slip further and further away from her grasp, fading into the impossible.
I think the NaPoWriMo prompt ended up eating the dust of the other two prompts.
A couple of years ago when I was doing OctPoWriMo, I almost ended up ceasing participation in poetry blog hops for good when I allowed the troubled spirit who will always be a part of me to express itself and was admonished that my poetry was "catharsis" and I would one day become "a beacon of light in the world" or some such thing.
To me, these well-meaning but inaccurate statements showed two things.
First, that people who are not happy by nature are unacceptable as they are and must become, or at least pretend to be, the sort of person who is "a light in the world." 
Second, that dark poetry (and depressive people) are not as valid or worthwhile as happy, well-adjusted people writing poems about the joys of life and how grateful they are to live under the rule of a benevolent deity in a happy and joyful world where there are no Debbie Downers or Negative Neds messing things up with their dark ickiness.
To me, poetry must remain the domain where you can TELL IT LIKE IT IS, not like other people think it's supposed to be.
Poetry must remain the place where one can hemorrhage one's soul all over the damn place and not have people constantly trying to slap smiley bandages on their spiritual wounds.
Poetry must be allowed to be dark and filled with pain.
During the final years of my nursing career, a statement had been popularized that "PAIN IS WHATEVER THE PATIENT SAYS IT IS." 
I greatly advocate for this belief. It is so much more helpful than awful epithets such as "drug-seeking behavior," which had previously been the dismissive go-to whenever a patient requested pain medication earlier than it was scheduled. 
People who experience high levels of chronic pain do not respond to pain medications the way people who do not experience chronic pain (or who experience chronic pain of lesser degrees) respond to pain medication. A person with high levels of chronic pain could ingest enough pain medication to knock out a large horse and be perfectly coherent, and I'm only being slightly hyperbolic.
FYI, low-grade chronic pain (such as I have) isn't a walk in the park either. I'm tired all the time and have a tendency to experience brain fog and disturbed sleep. My pain levels aren't such that I require narcotics, but NSAIDS don't really help. 
I experienced intense chronic pain for about six weeks when I initially injured the median nerve in my left arm. I couldn't sit up for more than about 45 minutes before I had to lie on the arm to try and numb it. Intense chronic pain is no joke, and anyone who says things like "people need to just push through the pain" or fail to understand why people become so desperate for relief that they obtain medications through illegal channels because the medications they've been prescribed legally aren't cutting the mustard need to get off their high horse. 
At this point, my left arm constantly tingles. I've gotten enough sensation back in my left hand that it no longer feels like a lump of clay, but I was damn grateful for "lump of clay" as opposed to constant searing pain up and down the arm. Physical therapy saved my life, literally. I would need more P.T. to get rid of the constant numbness and tingling, but Medicaid will only pay for 12 sessions per injury. Better than nothing, but ridiculous to put a limitation on the sort of thing which doesn't tend to behave in a predictable fashion.
In any case, just as pain is whatever the patient says it is, POETRY IS WHATEVER THE POET SAYS IT IS.
My poetry need not be "catharsis." It need not lead to me becoming "a beacon of light in the world" to be absolutely 100% valid. The wounded inner self is allowed to express its truth without expectation of transformation.
People with depressive personalities are valid as they are. They need not be drugged into compliance. For some of us, the drugs don't work anyway, or they make things worse. Drugs are not the answer to everything.
I don't need to be like you. 
I am valid just as I am.
Apologies for jumping on ye olde soapbox, but some things cannot be said enough.