Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lack of Comprehension

I was 17. I was a poet. I was frustrated.

You know how there's always one person you respect and are just awe-struck by? My high school English teacher was said person. And said person was ripping on a piece I'd re-written too many times to count at his request.
"Show. Don't tell."
"But how do I show without telling?"
"Use your images. Show me the cliff. Show me the snow."
"But how do I - "
"Just show me."
I stood here now, thinking about the countless times I'd been here before. He in his chair, I in my sneakers, with the desk between us. He'd always lean his elbows on the desk, whatever piece of work I'd given him stretched between his slender fingers as he read. His lips had the habit of pursing themselves while he did that. And his blue eyes that could cut glass would soften when he'd lean back in this chair, put his hands behind his head and stare me down. It was like a game for us. Who would cave first?
And then that damned dialogue. Short, relentless, and unyielding.
Countless times I'd walked away, countless times I'd reread his penciled in comments, countless times I'd uttered strings of profanities (sometimes in different languages) and threw out the originals, scribbling down a new version. I'd almost always miss the trashcan though, the wad of tempered trees bouncing to the floor with an almost inaudible thud.
Now I stood before him, he leaning back in his disarming pose, me staring him down defiantly. I swear a I saw a bemused glimmer behind those rectangular glasses of his.

The trash bag made a soft rustle as the printer spit out strings of letters and words.

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Class; First Clash

"So what? What's the larger meaning?"

What if there is no meaning? Meaning is subjective and open to interpretation and manipulation. Everything means something different to everyone else, so even if it means the world to the writer, it can mean nothing to the reader. "Unearthing meaning each layer down." Meaning is what you make of it, and you may make nothing of it.

Now I'll turn around and debunk myself. Meaning may be what you make of it; it's what all of us make of it actually, and unfortunately, majority tends to rule. If a collective group derrives the same meaning from a piece of work, generally, it's accepted that over all, that is what that particular piece means. And the outcasts, the ones that pick out something else, are basically told they are wrong.

For everything that anyone says has meaning, there will always be someone who says there is no meaning.

So where's the happy medium? The middle ground? It's the ones who "suckerpunch" you and ask "So What?" all over again.