Dysfunctional Relationship (My Love Affair With Poetry)

Dysfunctional Relationship©

Kyla G. Bingham (12/29/2014-01/08/2015)

Poetry is a demanding and insatiable mate.

 The first time It came to visit me, I was young and afraid, and It was painful.

Then, as I became more familiar with the words and the rhythm, I began to enjoy It.

Silly me. I thought I was in control.

Poetry soon showed me the error of my ways.

To teach me a lesson, It left me.

And I missed It so much.

Without notice, It left a yawning, gaping, aching chasm.

No matter how I begged and pleaded and cried, I couldn't force Its return.

Not on my terms and not on my timetable.

But now, It's back with a vengeance to have Its way with me at will.

It doesn't care that my fingers and wrist and forearms are cramping and on fire. It doesn't care about my carpal tunnel.

It continues to pour words through me like It had four arms with which to pour liquid through a funnel into an empty, waiting vessel.

And for the moment, It has chosen me as recipient.

 It doesn't care where we are, what I’m doing, if there are people watching.

 It’s both exhibitionist and voyeur, taskmaster and teacher, punisher and comforter.

 It both shames and soothes me.

When It wants me, It wants me.

And I’m going to give in. It's not up to me.

It's a sadist, and there is no "safe word".

There's no such thing "not now, I'm tired, I have a headache."  

Whether at work or worship Its urgency won't be denied.

Sometimes It's rough; It will violently wake me and shake me and take me, leaving me spent and exhausted...huddled in a corner and sobbing.

It will keep me chained and at Its mercy. And just when I think the pain is over, It comes back for more.

Other times, a gentle coaxing...leaving me sated, smiling and at peace.

And still other times, I think It must've slipped me a roofie because I won't even remember anything, but when I awake feeling drugged, the evidence of the interchange is there on my bed.

It's not like I can end the relationship.

Even if I had a choice, I wouldn’t even want to.

Because mea culpa; I deserve castigation.

I guess that makes me the glutton for punishment in this S&M tête-à-tête.

And another poem is my penance.

Some people say our alliance is unhealthy, one-sided and abusive. But those people don't understand.

I try to stay braced and prepared because sometimes, It even hits me-just slaps and kicks me out of nowhere.

But I know Poetry needs me. It was my fault for trying to ignore It, for not appreciating all It does for me.

Yes, I know It's not faithful...It has countless other paramours and children.

Infidelity is Its modus operandi. It is egotistical, and as Its minions, all of Its partners bow to Its will.

It'll break your walls and demolish your inhibitions and make you do and say things you never imagined.

There have even been times that Poetry took 2 or more of us at the same time in a collaborative, literary ménage à trois.

It's not picky as to race, age or even gender.

Social mores do not exist here.

But that's okay, too.

We're our own incestuous support group: People Possessed by Poetry's Power.

“Hi. My name is Kyla. It’s been just a moment since my last poem.”

At Quad P meetings, we share our experiences and let the sibling-cousins play.

No winners, no losers, just a telling of their respective stories.

But other times, we make our children fight to see which is strongest, for money or bragging rights

Because when your child wins, you can't help feeling that means that maybe Poetry loves you the most.

But It doesn't.

Because the meeting we attended is just one chapter. There are thousands more just like us simultaneously gathering all over the world.

A myriad victims in love with Poetry; all seeking Its approval.

There’s no Serenity Prayer for us. Just the repeating refrain of our defeatist mantra:

“I know it’ll never be enough. I’ll never be enough. But are you proud of me, Poetry? Are you pleased with me? Please give me another chance. I’ll do better next time.”

And somehow, because we're masochistic, and It's narcissistic, there's no question that Poetry is going home with all of us.

It's an international, omnipresent, polyamorous polygamist that likes to play.

Because Poetry only loves Poetry.

And like now, It just used me to be the voice.

It’s the ventriloquist. I’m the puppet.

And that's fine.

I'll take the agony over the emptiness any day because once experienced, silence is not an option.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Love this one. I've written more in the past couple months than I have in years. It's an adjustment, not always comfortable, but I'm glad it's back.

View eleutheria0501's Full Portfolio