Wednesday, May 20, 2009


When I was doing my business degree in Australia, the artistic side of me was starved so I was always running over to the communications block to take electives in psychology, film, theatre and creative writing. I remember my American poetry teacher. She was quite scary. She would give us some of the most difficult poems in the world to decode. They were post modernist (if you're not sure what style of writing that is, don't worry. That's you and me both) but we had to learn how to write in this way.

A girl in my class started one of her poems with "my soul is crying" and she canceled the line out completely! She said it was way too obvious and rarely do post modernist poems have "ing" at the end of any words. Deep down, I think we hated her coz she only accepted a specific style of poetry but none of us had written like this before. The poems she endorsed sometimes had two words in a line. Yup, just two. Look it would've been fine with me if they called the course, "Post Modernism 101" but they called it "Creative Writing 101" so I didn't know what I was in for. If you were in an art class and someone sketched the ocean with acrylic and the other in charcoal, how could either be wrong? It's all just art and individual expression isn't it?

But here's the thing. I started becoming grateful that I took this class (I saw it as a challenge) coz it was forcing me to express myself in a totally different way. It exposed me to different methods. I was looking at things from short, abrupt angles I'd never explored. My writing had never been so clipped and concise so I was developing more range. I figured doing the long flowing stuff was already second nature to me so why not try and do things this way? In my free time, I could write whatever I want anyway.

It took me a while to get the hang of "post modernism" but here's an excerp from something she gave me an "A" in toward the end of my Semester. It was about alcoholism and my concerns for a close friend I felt was going down the drain...


throw yourself to the dogs

bar counters they all are

sapping paper

Daddy has lots

Lose yourself

Waste it all

bloody zombies

no heads anymore

the nights have no meaning

your banks, no memory

you go down alone

fight the devil

you know where to find him

bedside mirror

My teacher's favourite line was the last because she knew I was trying to use the analogy of the devil linked with temptation and of course the hardest person to fight when we are tempted about something is always our own selves ;)


Anonymous said...

Cool poem Jojo. You can really write!

Hemsem Ahmike said...

Wow, it's really an art :D

Nice poem.

Igniz said...

we both love reading and writing poems..but i think yours is waaaaaayyyy better than mine..i need to learn from u..splendid!:)

Jojo Struys said...

Thanks Hemsem! and thanks Igniz. :) Jojo

Jojo Struys said...

Igniz-I read your blog. I am deeply moved by your observation of your school. It is a reflection which I have felt before. Somewhat an observation from a distance. like a deja vu maybe ?

for those that want to check igniz blog out , it is:

Igniz said...

hey, thanks! now it's my turn to feel deeply moved by your're as sweet as i thought u'd be:):):)

Kit Keat Bar said...

wow.. i'm sooooo not the poetry type.. but i can somehow feel what you're trying to convey there. :) good job n keep it up!

Jojo Struys said...

thanks kit keat :) I hope to share more :) Jojo

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful !

kakikereta said...

i love reading ur blog...

kruel74 said...

Wow, you blog. Never saw you in Blog Explosion before. Nice poem by the way

Mhakimaru said...

We're all hoping against hope that you'll stay ever the same all through out your life! And who know's you'll be the "Oprah" in Malaysia! Thank you so much for sharing to us all and at the same time teaching us how to be human!

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