|Ann (capriuni) wrote,|
@ 2012-06-13 01:00 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||monster, poetry, self reflection, writing|
But, frankly, I was unhappy with the happy ending I gave it:
And I find a path, and there, the root:
That "Monster," once, meant "Warning from the gods"
This fear's unveiled, and like a ghost, it fades.
First, simply defining "monster" as "warning" does nothing to make clear why I feel a strong personal connection to the word (especially if this piece is to stand on its own).
And, second (and more important), that ending is a lie. As much as I would wish it, the fear doesn't fade. I, and my companions of the abnormal, have to deal with it over, and over and over again, every time we go out into the world, and it's a fear that has real, painful, consequences for our lives. Also, I did not want to leave the casual TAB reader at any place where: "Oh, good. She'll have a happy ending, I don't have to worry about her (or people like her)" is a reasonable reaction.
So, I went back and finished up my original closing poem idea (which I initially abandoned because it was a radical chance of voice):
THE MONSTERS' CHALLENGE: THE VOICE OF REASON
There are no monsters underneath the bed
(Or so they say). They say there never were.
And when a baby's born with half an arm,
No chanting priest foretells the death of kings.
Today, we know the scientifc truth
And we've outgrown those silly, antique tales
(Or so they say). And yet, we're all afraid.
There's something churning underneath our feet.
This modern world is bursting at the seams,
And All agree that Order must be Kept.
We've turned to science, and learned ten thousand ways
To know just who is normal and who is not.
We raise our funds, we look for cures, invent,
And teach the child to wear a plastic hand.
And though we know it's fiction, we still cheer
The knight's triumphent ride, returning home;
At last, the dragon's dead, and now hear heart
Is safely bundled in his handkerchief.
The monsters must not ever win the fight.
We only let them try, to prove who's right.
This is a good #5, as an answer to #4, which brought up the fallacious thinking of ancient philosophies (but we don't think that any more! -- yeah. But... no). And also, it's uncomfortable enough to make the reader squirm and (maybe) question their own thinking.
But still, you know me. I hate to stay in a place of bitterness for very long, for my own well-being, if nothing else. And I thought the reader deserved some sort of "author's note" as to why this whole series was written, in the first place. But first, I had to figure out how to end it in a truthful way, that gives a bit more meaningful context.
... That was yesterday's big project. This is the result.
THE MONSTER CHALLENGE: PERSONAL JOURNEY
In looking down upon my naked self:
My lap, my scars, my hands, and crooked feet,
My posture's slant, my elbow's inner bend,
I sometimes wonder what it means to see.
This looking at myself from where I am
Is not at all like looking at a rock.
The words that echo through my memory
In all the languages I've heard (or seen):
Like forest leaves that shift in every wind,
Their shadows hide -- disguise -- the things I see.
It's through this tangled forest I must go
To find my truth, and know just what I am.
And then: one word. It catches like a thorn.
And though it stings, I trace its twisted growth.
I find a path, and there I find the root:
That "monster," once, meant "creature born deformed,"
(Somewhat like me?), "a warning from the gods--"
One shadow pierced. This light can answer fear.
And here's the fruit: it's heavy -- rich with seed.
I'll plant one for myself, and start anew.