Tonight I’m obsessed with the song “Scene Four – Don’t You Ever Forget About Me” by Sleeping with Sirens. I’m pretty sure my roommate hates me because I just played it about 7 times in a row:
Don’t you ever forget about me When you toss and turn in your sleep I hope it’s because you can’t stop thinking about The reasons why you close your eyes I haunt your dreams at night So you can’t stop thinking about me Don’t stop thinking about me
Do you really think you could see this through Put on a smile and wear it for someone new Don’t you do it ‘Cause I know I’m not the easiest one to love But every ounce I have I invest in you But no one said love’s not for taking chances
I used to write all the time, even when I didn’t have a poem in mind. I was a regular at a couple cafes and coffee shops and would set aside blocks of time to make myself at home in their booths, put my feet up, and figure out something to say that day. I can’t write like that anymore, can’t draw inspiration from nothing, concoct a story or rework a random memory into anything with any meaning. These days I only write when I have no choice, when something is going through my mind that I need to get out, and that itch to write is so consuming that I won’t be able to sleep until it’s out.
Today was about obsession. I listened to the same song on repeat all day long. I’m not kidding. This isn’t an exaggeration. I’m not so secretly crushing on the band’s frontman and I can’t get enough of it. The song, “In the End” by Black Veil Brides, is a metal anthem that begs for attention. There’s a reason the video has 49 MILLION views on YouTube. Today I added a couple more hundred to that count. After a day like that, trapped in the grips of passion, the outpouring of emotion, the crying of an entire generation summed up in about 4 minutes, I needed to write a poem. I NEEDED to write a poem. I needed my voice heard too.
I write this poem with extreme thanks for the blessed life that I’ve led, a carefree childhood and loving family. I recognize that Mother’s Day isn’t rainbows and butterflies for many people: mothers that have lost their children, children that have lost their mothers, broken families, reality. Even in my family, there’s an element of sadness on this day. My parents buried their first child when she was 16 months old. This is also the first Mother’s Day since my Grandma Genny died.
It’s easy to forget that many many emotions surround this day and where one family smiles another might cry. It’s important to empathize and take a moment to think about the true weight of this day. I find it allows me to appreciate what I have that much more. I’m beyond thankful to be filled with so much love.
Uncharacteristic rhyme tonight. There’s something about this poem that I really love. I almost didn’t write one, just thought maybe I’d let the TV drown out thinking until falling asleep, but I couldn’t just ignore my inner poet fighting to come out. She didn’t want to be ignored and I’m so glad I listened.
This poem is inspired by “Before You Start Your Day” by Twenty One Pilots. It’s one of their most melancholy songs and brings me to tears just about every time I hear it. I listened to it on repeat as I wrote this poem. It requires deep introspection, allowing yourself to really feel what’s going on inside. This poem was hard to write but sometimes those are the most important ones to get out.
My biggest challenge in my writing is clutter. I use too many words and too many fillers, or at least I used to. I’ve worked on refining my verse quite a bit, but it’s exhausting! Hell, sometimes I want to overuse adverbs and let my rant run free, no matter how inarticulate the finished product.
Lately I’ve been writing in stream of consciousness form. I don’t judge. I don’t edit. I don’t stop. I just write. This piece was the first. I didn’t change a word.
I hit repeat on the same song 9 times while working on this post last night. Every play hit me harder than the last, a compounding obsession culminated in the fact that I’m talking about it right now. Maybe it means something and maybe it doesn’t. All I know is that today is Friday.
Sometimes I talk about the days of the week because I don’t know what else to say but most of the time I talk about the days of the week because their existence seems just as important as anything else. Wow, it’s Friday. Find a song you love and listen to it 9 times in a row.
I’ve been on a Ghost Town kick lately. I first discovered the band about a year ago, listened a little, but for whatever reason wasn’t hooked. However a few weeks ago one of my friends made me a playlist with their song “Acid” on it. It’s a track I admittedly repeat over and over again as I’m driving. You could call me obsessed. The vocals draw me in almost like junk food. I just want more!! It got me thinking, what is it about certain songs or certain voices that attract different ears? For me, it’s the grit, the pain behind the sound. I’d always rather listen to something messy that throws emotion in your face than something perfected with stereotypical beauty. We all have our own preferences though, and mine certainly change with the seasons.
I’ve said this before, I know, but I love using music for inspiration, especially when the song evokes something that isn’t obvious, like in the case of today’s poem. I doubt anyone would read the words above and see the direct correlation between the Fall Out Boy song and my words, but that’s the beauty of it. Songs have so many layers and I love finding my muse between them, whether drawing influence from a single word, the underlying harmony, a single guitar riff, a drum transition, etc. Long story short, I promise the verse above is inspired by “Young Volcanoes,” which happens to be my favorite song off their Save Rock and Roll album.
Thanks for rockin’ with me! Check back next week for more musically inspired poetry. Have any good song suggestions?
If you’ve never tried writing under the influence of a song, I highly recommend it. Turn the volume up, hit repeat, and lose your soul for a minute as you let the vibrancy of the melody steal your physical body. Don’t just listen, but absorb. Internalize the lyrics and drum your fingers with the beat as you let your imagination run. What do you see if you close your eyes? A memory?
Whatever you feel, just write it.
As per my usual Sunday series inspired by songs on my playlist, today’s poem is inspired by “The Great Escape,” by Boys Like Girls. I’ve been utterly obsessed with this song for about a month. Sure I heard it when it came out years ago, but rediscovering it has deepened my connection beyond the initial admiration of dancing along to a catchy song. Anyway, give a listen below and come back again next week for another round of celebrating the camaraderie of music and poetry.