Make Art, Not War

Thursday, May 10, 2012

When I write a poem

OK, have we gotten that out of our system?

I wanted to share the recently rejected poem that I sent to Poetry magazine (mostly to see what a rejection letter from them looked like). I didn't expect them to print it, but now that they wont I can. It is a little something. That's all.

When I write a poem

When I write a poem I picture myself stringing
words together like they are yarn.
I am knitting hats and scarves and on
ambitious nights of self I make sweaters with patterns.
They're cute.
They're getting better.

But when I read one of your poems
I imagine that you've carved them out of clay,
sculpted them carefully with no crevasse or
point of interest unplanned,
no punctuation mark a mistake,
no syllable unaccounted for.
Your creation stands as it was meant to stand.

Is it possible that there's an art inside an art?
That your voice or style might be characterized
by another genre altogether?

Fired in an oven,
shrunken in the wash
and walla!
The finished product.
Signed and dated.

And once you've created enough of them
to call it a life's work they'll say that you made it
when I was just sitting at home having fun with patterns.

(dedicated to Sharon Olds, one of my favorite poets)

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