Day 20: Rebel rebel

What a great craft resource today! Hail, hail, the disobedient!

I enjoyed reading the essay by poet Alice Notley so much that I almost forgot to write my poem.

First, Challenge 20: “Write a poem that involves rebellion in some way.” Immediately I felt quite at home. Then I read the essay and felt all is right in this world.

Still, my poem waited to be written. All the words in quotation marks are by Alice Notley of whom I never heard before but she certainly made an impression. Thank you for recognising the truth.

Disobey this!

“There were no babies in poetry then. How could that have been? What are we leaving out now?”
—Alice Notley

I don’t think it’s exactly a profession
neither a horrorscope sign
the ikigai
or the answer to the question:
What do you wish to be
when you grow up?
Still, it marginally beats
I wish to live by the sea
which was my previous answer
and besides, I do that yet.

Finally, finally I know what I am.
Never before it crossed my mind.
I played with writer,
I aspired to be one
but I have no sense of invention
and a huge I problem:
I like to say I
“in such a way
as to make myself really nervous”.

Why invent when everything already is?
The world is a varied
and glorious place.
And pretty enough
not to need
any filter.
Plus I don’t believe in rules.
Photographer is out too.

So what is it that I find myself to be
on the brink of fifty
and a long
decaying process?

I’m a rebel.
I’m disobedient.
“Against everything”.
I fight and I reject.
And today I find out
that this is how you spell
not only the ideal reader
be it of “mainstreamese”
or “avant-gardese”
or of any other
individual language
but also
a poet herself.

I am
a lazy
intent on speaking
of what is left out.

Of anything
that has no gender

Of the divisions
they force us into.

Of the fears
they instil.

Of all that prevents us
from surviving
the richest.

Except of course
if what I disobey
is everything
but my laziness.


Modification of a Ljubljana street sign for somebody else but I take it. Originally Reber.

18 thoughts on “Day 20: Rebel rebel

  1. I suppose to be a poet you have to be what might be considered lazy in many people’s eyes – and definitely a rebel. You have to slow, take a look around and let your mind drift.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! First I didn’t know the Narcissus and lake story. Now I don’t know the David Bowie rebel song. I feel so uninformed. I love your poem. I’ve always seen you as a sort of rebel. Now I can think of you as a lazy rebel poet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The David Bowie is song is only referred to in the title and it was the last addition before posting. I confess I don’t know the lyrics other than the chorus. Lazy rebel poet is the best way to be thought of. 🙂 Thank you, Maggie!

      Liked by 1 person

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