What If No One Likes It?

I would ask: What if
no one likes it?
I was innocent. Younger,
I Thought the answer:
Not possible.
I take it personally.
I need approval,
and this drives me
to hate
all of the parts
of my constitution.
I hate my need
for approval
more than I hate
all of my other needs.
Without approval,
I suck, and back to the question,
the truth is
no one likes it
all the time. With approval,
I suck but I grab thin threads,
silver slivers of fishing line
gently iced with hope.
I want medicine
to fill my bottomless craving
for approval,
but they don’t make it,
so I suck,
“I suck” rolls around
my tummy
and then
carves up my lungs,
makes my face hurt
with beads,
massive tanks
of poisonous sweat
telling me I don’t belong. I wish
that someone liked it.
I dream that someone
liked me. My dreams
are tired.
Please take my need
for approval far away
where hawks eat mice
in the afternoon sun,
and leave me in the dumpster.
I will love you
from there.

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  1. #1 by MARANTHA JENELLE on June 5, 2011 - 9:52 pm

    carl, how did you gain access to my mind and heart and put into words the feelings that dwelt therein? for all you have said carries an eerie familiarity that echoed within my mind as i read.

    this, in my viewpoint, was very good.


    • #2 by Carl on June 5, 2011 - 10:31 pm

      Marantha, Thank you for your comment. We can want to NOT feel these things, and we can strive to NOT feel these things, but it’s okay to talk about it when we feel them.

  2. #3 by carldagostino on June 5, 2011 - 10:01 pm

    I don’t think my mother was impressed with anything I did. Long list of accomplishments. My adult children are too consumed with themselves to stop and look at things I’ve made or created. I don’t think the two of them and seen or wish to even look at my cartoons. I have already gotten rid of a lot of things which would make fine heirlooms because they would sell everything for $50. I don’t need the approval. I know my stuff is good. Many connections through blog and they like my stuff and I like their stuff so there is some validation from people who know the worth of such things. It is despairing that the one’s closest to us are so dismissive.

    • #4 by Carl on June 5, 2011 - 10:29 pm

      Carl, you know my story, and you’re several rungs up the ladder. I appreciate your comment.

  3. #5 by pattisj on June 6, 2011 - 1:25 am

    How the young seek affirmation! And when they don’t receive it, it becomes an obsession. Hopefully someone will come along and love them, encourage them, before they find their way to the dumpster.

    • #6 by Carl on June 6, 2011 - 11:02 pm

      How difficult is it to grow up on this measure? 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

  4. #7 by Val on June 6, 2011 - 7:53 am

    I like you, I like your poetry and your writing, but I do understand this.
    Wouldn’t it be great if one could splinter-off the part of ourselves that give us approval when we’re feeling okay (and when it’s needed less!) and save that splinter til we need it? Then we wouldn’t need anyone else’s approval, just our own.

    • #8 by Carl on June 6, 2011 - 11:06 pm

      You’re kind, Val. Thanks for your comment. Your idea of a splinter zone is grand!

  5. #9 by Indigo Spider on June 6, 2011 - 11:38 am

    I agree with Val, I would love to splinter off those times when I don’t need approval for a time when I do. At the same time, oh, I so hate needing approval! I wish I had the strength, all the time, to not desire approval. Great poem Carl, another that resonated with me deeply.

    • #10 by Carl on June 6, 2011 - 11:12 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate it.

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