The bad news about letters from past relationships is that they really tear into memories of bad experiences. The good news about said letters is they’re ripe with writing material for poems and prose.
For me, once I got over the bad feelings from reading letters from past relationships, I know I could turn that bad beef into a good hamburger.
One poem I’m working on for the College of Poetry deals with my contempt for an ex-boyfriend – the man I dumped before hooking up with my current boyfriend (those two men are like night and day, it’s amazing). I have nothing but contempt for my ex. I won’t use my ex’s real name, so let’s call him … Bill.
I won’t go into detail with my letter to Bill, which I wrote in December 2007. Basically in this letter, I was apologizing for something for which I didn’t have to apologize to begin with.
This letter is filed on my computer. This morning, I opened up this letter for reference for the “tribute poem” I’m writing. I’ve written down the verses, but they don’t have the punch I’m looking for to really rip into Bill. I read the letter and made sarcastic comments in reference to certain sentences. As an example of my comments, in the letter I wrote, “I want to get to know you better … mentally and emotionally.” My comment to this is, “Trying to connect with (Bill) mentally and emotionally is like digging for gold ore in a copper mine.”
Commenting sarcastically makes me feel so much better. And now I’ve struck just the right cord to write my ode to Bill. I’m just about done with this poem. As soon as I finish, I’ll post it on this blog.
See, one day when I read the letter, I could just toss my head back and have a good, hearty laugh at all this.