So, it is a hard task, to take the advice you offered to others, but did not follow yourself.
The advice was to a brother who told of his passion, his realisation of the truth behind the lies, his reassertion of who he was and his anger.
I can’t remember the precise advice, but what I’m saying to myself now, is to
put into print those ideas and words that are burning their way out,
polish them up, look at them,
laugh at them and laugh at your temerity in thinking you can write,
then enjoy those words, taste every crumb and drop,
with a strong cup of coffee and a sticky bun if you need them to assist the digestion
I was asked to mediate in a dispute, where prominent citizens including members of a community wanted to defuse a threat of violent retribution from someone from that same community whose anger had boiled over. It was that brother I mentioned.
He had written to some prominent citizens including the heads of prominent institutions, threatening lives and property, saying that he had been ignored, exploited and abused by his community and by the authorities, except for me, whom he singled out as having set him on the path to writing poetry.
I don’t know that I can claim any credit for this. I remember listening once to him describing how he and his friends would “talk up a storm” with ideas, passions and angers building into a whirlwind of words that drained the griefs and empowered the speakers. I may have said that such valuable thoughts should be recorded and shared. The poet had said that was so, and had named me as someone who listened to him. The prominent citizens saw me as a go-between, perhaps with an unspoken sidelong conviction that I was also a bit suspect in some ways – as suspect as an associate of an angry poet searching for a new tangible expletive with the force to knock down doors and split computers in half. The prominent citizens asked me if I could prevent bloodshed and destruction. I spoke to my angry poet, who told me his tale of his words being robbed and used without respect. He told how the projects and campaigns for righting wrongs and rewriting wrong histories, all wrapped in words he wrought, were being recycled as a backdrop to the personal and political glory of the prominent citizens. He said that the prominent citizens were a bogus bunch and that one in particular was a self-seeking, carpet-bagging, money-grubbing, opportunistic, band-waggon-mounting, oily pimp.
However, after a talk, he, the poet, would hold off from extending the impact of his wrath beyond the destruction which may well have already occurred, or not occurred. Nothing was confessed-to or admitted, but the poet had his audience. He had something to say. I listened.
When I told the prominent citizen that he and his cronies could walk the streets in safety again, I also said that he was denounced as a self-seeking, carpet-bagging, money-grubbing, opportunistic, band-waggon-mounting, oily pimp. “Yes, I am, but I’m a live one,” the prominent citizen replied, with oily, pimpy relief.
The poet says that I am his role model and that some people might find that a scary prospect.
It is scary, as I feel I have to live up to a lot of expectations. He’s a good poet and whether the original advice to write was mine to him or his poetic version of a truth that hangs in the air unspoken, I’m going to make use of it.
I will write.