Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history ~ Plato

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Check Your Guru

There is a shelf you'll find in my blue room
remnants of the life I'm running from.
Filled with psycho-babble and tips
to be the best you can be.
To supposedly prepare you 
for what this world can bring.

I have lost myself for hours
days, months and years
falling into the plan
executing every exercise
manipulating my mind
to the point its only purpose is production.

I have run through relationships
run over heads
stomped with my shit-kickers
and left my mark.

Alas, these supposed instruction manuals
failed to provide me the secret
to dealing with the consequences
of a conscious that fails to submit
to the black gas of more.

In my blue room, beside these texts of "modern wisdom"
you'll find another shelf
not dusty, and filled to overflowing

It is filled with the voices of people,
of poets,
of breaking hearts and brilliant minds
of those, who like me
discovered the error of their ways
and in an effort to control the damage
poured their hearts on the page.

They are my guru's
my go to's
and in knowing their words
I know their worlds
my heart and mind
both prepared
for whatever
may rise to face me.


Brian Miller said...

ah truth....got lots of napolean hill and carnegie on my shelf from earlier days...well they are actually in a box now....i think those living life in verse def prepare us all the more as we follow them through it...smiles.

happy saturday tash!

RMP said...

I'm not sure there is any true manual, except for maybe the one we write ourselves. I guess with that in mind, others words can definitely lend a guiding light.

really nice verse.

AJ said...

Really good poem. I like the way it contrasted the one shelf with the other. I'm with you, I'll take good poets and good poetry over all the "self-help" any day :)

Steve Piper said...

Bravo! Love this!

Mary said...

I agree with you. Oftentimes poets and poetry are much better at helping a person prepare for the pitfalls of life than the manuals of psychobabble! Write on!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

So beautiful. The last stanza is especially wonderful.

Laurie Kolp said...

This is exceptional, Tash. I especially like the last 2 stanzas.

ordinarylifelessordinary said...

Love this Tash. Loved the blue room and all it's authors shouting out from the shelves in there. And love that the voices you listen to are the ones who recognise your struggles and share your heart and mind.

Susan Daniels said...

Tash, I am loving this. Yes, I would rather be prepared by poets for anything life throws my way.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Wow, Nat, I adore this piece. And I love how our minds meshed over the distances, and we found similar muses to pivot our poetics. I really agree that my world presently revolves around the poetry of new & old friends, learning from them, guided by them, sometimes outraged, falling in love, lusting after lofty intellects. You are a treasure.

Tracie Skarbo said...

Your blue room sounds pretty amazing!

Anna Montgomery said...

This is super fantastic!

darkangelwrites said...

What an ode to poets! Awesome :) I like the reference to the blue room too.

Claudia said...

isn't it true...we learn most from those that went through dark times in their own lives...and just pour their heart on pages...even though they may not have found a solution, it just helps hearing the voice of someone who somehow "survived"....

Sabio Lantz said...

I loved this. See self-help books as me-me-me and more-more-more. Seeing how our striving can crush ourselves and others. And then contrasting to your other shelf of inspiration. Nicely said!!

Few thoughts:

Your 4th stanza seems like it has two typo-like errors -- forgive me if I am wrong:

(1) didn't you mean "consciousness" or "conscience". Instead of "conscious"

(2) its not the failure to submit (to me-me-me ism), but actually submitting to a greedy conscience, no?
So I expected to read something like this:

"Alas, these supposed instruction manuals
failed to provide me the secret
to dealing with the consequences
of a conscience that greedily submits
to the black gas of more"

Also, tiny correction, I think that the plural of guru is gurus -- no apostrophe. But maybe this is a dialect or editing difference I am unfamiliar with.

All this coming from a guy who can't write poetry worth ....
:-) (following)

Dave King said...

A brilliant write. The penultimate stanza is particularly convincing, could yet make me stop and take stock. Impressive.

my heart's love songs said...

LOVE this, Natasha!

Fred Rutherford said...

nice post Tash. I agree. I'm a Non Fiction addict, and I do have to admit I really am the target demographic for the self-help trend. These books offer plans and notions that are sound in theory, yet I always find their execution extremely difficult to the impossible for me personally, but I also return to them always, for even knowing that most likely their advice may not be applicable to me personally, I somehow get a feeling of relief those moments while consumed by their words. Great piece.

Susan said...

I love your bookshelves, both the old and the new. This poem refreshed me this morning as I looked around my shelves and saw a similar move from the old bound philosophers to new voices and masters in poetry. I spend so much time here that I rarely read a book through in a day like I used to, and I have started visiting a local library instead of buying--but books and voices and now poets are my companions. There is more dust on the TV.