Monday, 14 October 2013

Living in this world, with its consistent disrespect for me,
I find I need a partner who can kick my ass sexually, 
you can tell me it's a fetish, you can call it a pathology, 
say it's forbidden in Leviticus and bits of Deuteronomy, 
say that it's a legacy of the tutor on whom I
used to have a girl-crush when they said I was a boy
but it's in being subject to another woman's strength I find my joy.

I wrote the above on the bus into work this morning. I'd been thinking a little about a couple of things at the same time: one, the fact that I often find BDSM quite therapeutic - if I'm feeling frustrated and tense, feeling like I've had my ass kicked, essentially, one of the things that seems to help best is...well, getting my ass kicked. Two, the fact that lately I've been slipping into a groove I occassionally get into which often causes me to rapidly become, well, a bit crap as a writer, and that's when I start writing stuff using a verse-chorus-verse-chorus song-style structure. It's not that everything I write using that structure is rubbish, more that once I get into it I find it very hard to pull myself out of that groove. Conversely my best stuff tends to not follow a song-style structure, to be free verse or to follow an unstable rhyme-scheme, which might stay the same for a certain amount of time and then breaks down and becomes something else. And so I began toying with writing something along those lines, a long piece, and it seemed that I could include a poem stating this rather theapeutic aspect of BDSM and then it occurred that if I wrote the first couplet like this instead of that and then the whole thing tumbled out and I wrote it out, quickly, as a Facebook status, with a note explaining that it was only a little bit of what would probably be a much larger thing. And then an odd thing happened.

Quite a few people began to argue that this on its own is a complete poem. Dominic Berry particularly, whose judgement I respect a lot, expressed that opinion. A lot of people said they loved it. 

I'm still not sure. I'm drawn towards the idea of doing it as part of a longer piece, giving it more context. But on the other hand...two of my most noted recent poems, 'Letter to a Minnesota Prison' and 'The Ballad of Private Manning' are each over six minutes long and very heavy. I seem to have revolted against that a little lately by doing more comic stuff, though, again, as with the verse-chorus trap I find that trying too hard to be funny is also a bad groove for me to get into (I'd argue the above verse isn't necessarily comic but exuberant, itself not such a bad thing when you consider how often people write about BDSM in such a self-consciously ooh-look-how'-d'arque-I-am way). Maybe I do need a few shorter poems?

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