Episode 7: I Can’t Hold All my Feels

“This has been a long journey.”


Now Playing: Last Train Home – Pat Metheny Group
Trigger Focus: Poetry
Genre: Lyric, prose poetry, free verse
Output: On My Way Home, my collection of poems

For several weeks now, I keep remembering a certain post in social media. It’s basically about finding your old notes and cringing over what you’ve written in your younger years. That much can be said about poems.

Thing is, I found my old stash of poems in one of my folders while digging up my trash (read: old belongings) at home. Some of them have already been previously encoded and saved as digital files, while the others stayed the same in the notepads where they were written, smelling of dust.

My poems were about the journeys of life that I believed I was undertaking. I was alone (for a time) in Baguio City, living apart from family, striving to live and make sense of the life I had then, and taking everything step by step.  That’s when I took the time to retrace everything I wrote.

Some of the poems I wrote way back when I was a kid were stuff meant for contests. By that, I mean they weren’t exactly my own thoughts, but those that seem pleasing to the teachers, or readers of elementary or high school literature. Anything else that emotional – like falling in love, admiration of worldly phenomenon, or despair – that you wanted to put in a poem would end up at the back page of a notebook. Being in college gave me free reign to write as I please.

Now that I think about it, I’ve been writing free verse all this time, and most of the freestyle forms I wrote with were derived from the lyrical rhythm of anime songs. Yes, I was an avid anime fan in elementary and high school. But I wouldn’t start spewing stuff about hot-blooded youth or courage or sweet first love (or all at the same time) until college.

Many of the poems I wrote when I was studying in UP Baguio was about adapting to a new environment, mundane activities, and random thoughts about my new life up north. Some of them were even about drinking. Most of them I wrote while drunk or drinking. Heck, there’s something about writing a poem on a notepad while nursing a bottle of beer that’s surreal.

Then there were the love poems, most of which were about unrequited feelings and admiration. I even remember writing a few as a form of confession, all of which were immediately shot down. Most of the poems that came afterwards were about the pain of being able to express emotions.

By the way, many of those poems were lost, and only the cheesy poems, especially the ones with freaking anime references, remained. I mean, come on, “The Feast of the North Star”? Who’s gonna take a love poem like that seriously?

It was only just a few years ago when I started writing poems again, and even then, they were in the form of haikus or tanka. The rest of the stuff I wrote were about random observations of my surroundings, or other people.

I wonder, then, when I stopped writing about my feelings. Come to think of it, my previous girlfriend complained that I never wrote her poems. Maybe it’s because the poems I’ve always written were sad, and I was so happily in love with her that no poem or song that I would pen could ever explain that feeling.

The only reason I wrote poems was that I couldn’t hold my feelings. Now, it’s a different story. I’m not cringing; it’s just amusing that the way I wrote before is way different from the me today. I was pretty much in touch with life and my emotions back then. Now, not so much.

With my old collection back, maybe I could learn to tap into my feelings again, and write something. Maybe with that I could expand my list of poems on Wattpad someday. We’ll see what will trigger me to make another poem.

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