Bitterness is age
The culmination of comments you can’t forget.
“You’re better at regular writing than poetry”.
I feel the stickiness
of humid anger
for criticism I did not pay for.
Because those that do not create say the most,
their life is to be echoed in judgement
rather than reflected in sharing
and it is wearing.
Are the ignited kept from each other
for fear of ruined social forests?
Or is the public cry of victimhood the unhealthy
result of this community of passionate?
Stand taller, older self.
Cut through, thin and strong.
Do not bend your shoulders when
you are told not to feel.
Do not close your mouth when
you are told you can’t see.
Do not stop the search when
you’ve been tricked by a wrong answer.
Cut through rationality and emotionality
to find experience and practice.
Act in the scientific empathy of the useful.
Be dry and flexible like the ancient grass
with which your hair waves.
If the feedback is too loud,
If the silence is too isolating,
If the internet is too vast,
Listen to the work’s form.
Find the faults and stumbles
rested in the trying and care.
Just keep writing.
Just keep living.
This heat will pass,
and your bitterness will age into insight.