Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Exhibitionism


"Will you be comfortable revealing so much of yourself on your blog?" He asked me.

He is a writer I know. The question was asked in response to a poem I had written which I post below.

While I was torn as to whether I should post the poem here or not, all my reservations relate to whether the poem is technically good, whether any of you actually want to read poetry in general, and the fact this particular poem crawls so far into my belly button, the reader may suffocate before reaching the end, the fear that I would be revealing too much never crossed my mind. I mean, this is a blog, what exactly am I doing here if not revealing myself? Yes, relatives read this blog, but it isn't like this poem is about sex or information I have sworn I will take to the grave, so really, at worst, they will roll their eyes. Yes, I may reveal aspects of my character which I find to be unattractive, but it's just a poem, it isn't a naked picture of myself (though the unmistakable self-absorbed child of privilege tone of my writing is not unlike cellulite in its ability to shame me and, let's face it, if I could ditch the unattractive parts of my body and character, I would put an NC-17 rating on this blog and block all family members' IP addresses because I really am that much of an exhibitionist. Maybe. Except I would probably worry that I was too arrogant and imposing myself on the internets).

It is interesting, however, to question where the boundaries lie. Obviously, I am a shameless attention whore. That being said, I tend to view the act of revealing information (on a blog or in life) as akin to being naked in the gym locker room; I assume no one is paying attention because they've seen it all before. Of course, I could be completely wrong about this, someone may well be checking me out as I towel off after a shower. But if they are, well, it isn't as if I am a new species of human being and I can only hope they are thinking complimentary thoughts about what they see.

And if I should inadvertently reveal more than I intended, I imagine I have already revealed so much, no will notice that I have revealed too much. If there is so much to see, how can anyone know the parts that were not meant to be seen?

This analogy starts to break down when we analyze the different venues. Nudity is a side effect of showering, whereas blogging is not a side effect of life. I don't disrobe in the gym locker room in the hopes that I inspire admiration and/or envy in those who see me, whereas, yes, I do post things here because I want your love and respect, anonymous though it may be (unless, of course, you choose to leave a comment).

**********************************************

watching the relentless advance of age

years pass, but nothing seems to change

still plagued by fear and unhappiness

still shamed by naivete and silliness

trying to call the shots and taking not a one

unravelling all the work when it's only partially done

years wasted chasing all the wrong dreams

increasingly dissatisfied with all my schemes

desiring, but not really wanting, fame

clueless and unwilling to play the Business’ game

like the song said, I wanna be adored

except love like that soon makes me bored

paralyzed by my pursuit of perfection

disgusted with the mirror’s reflection

afraid of what tomorrow brings

afraid I can’t withstand rejection and its stings

stuck here at a border between then and now

wanting to move forward and not knowing how

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