The Nightmare Song; A Poetry SIP
Baillie, Margaret G. (Maggie)
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In the first section of my SIP, dream space and ideas of loss are explored through the lens of both real and imagined situations. These poems are static moments in dynamic time; specific and detailed snapshots in the ether- in the space between waking and dreaming, the unfamiliar landscape between two unfamiliar worlds. They come through loneliness and grief to a conclusion of mindful practice and deliberate wistfulness, the kind of steadiness that comes not from knowing, but rather choosing to know and remember that this too shall pass, and the dawn will come once more. Part of any reality must be negative, just as a part of human nature is fallibility and sickness. Even as an individual can make efforts towards mindfulness and pure practice, they would be remiss and hypocritical if they were to gloss over those things that made their efforts necessary. Everyone has vices, and everyone has nightmares deep in the night. For some people, these continue in the waking life, destroying even as they define, simultaneously breaking down and building up the identity of the individual, making them fleeting and universal all at once. Abnormal psychological patterns, combined with daily and extended drug abuse, have a way of combining absolute isolation and a very identifiable universality; the insane person or addict is both unique in their self and story and one with all others who have shared the experience. The second section of my SIP is a brief exploration of some manias and vices, and a peek into the crazier side of my consciousness. Some of these poems are very place-based, continuing to explore the role environment has on the individual even as the individual is swallowed by it. They are meant to highlight the isolating effects that mental disturbances and drug addiction can have on the human psyche, while paying homage to the reckless joy and radical freedom this kind of living can inspire. On the surface they seem empty, entrenched in grittiness and falsehood, but they give way· to a deeper desire, a desire to be overfull, to keep swallowing the bitterness of the world and breathe out something better. The third and final section is one of redemption and happy adjustment. Clearly experienced in the first and lonely person, these poems explore what it means to live as an individual in happy relationship with your environment and immediate world. They touch on changing identity and disconnection as they reestablish a relationship with a home space that is constantly morphing and escaping the boundaries of the speaker's expectations, even as it refuses to change, stubbornly maintaining the old familiar ways of childhood. These poems are exercises in how to live and be okay with it: how to maintain and appreciate a relationship with the small miracles of the world around you, every day, from the glory of local organic produce to black ribbons in blonde curls, to the fake white lace and delicate pink-and-pale-green rosettes tatted onto the Sunday socks of most Lutheran girls since the dawn of offshore labor.