Thursday, June 24, 2010

I do not know many poets.
I do not know any poets, really.
Which sounds bleak, I know.

I think sometimes that
I might join a
Poetry reading group.
Or allow a (real) poet to
Read and critique me.

I think again.

I really do not know
How to write a poem.
Or how to read one.

And frankly, I do not care.

Why do I write?
Why do I breathe?
I do not know.

I do know that I breathe to live.
I do not write to live.
But it is surely the same
Drive that leads me to breathe
Or eat
Or have sex
That I feel in my center solar
When it is time to write again.

I do not ever know what I will write about.
All I know is that it is time.
And I do not work on it for weeks.
I work on it for minutes.

Until it is done.

It has got to be like
How a colonic would feel.
Except, of course,
I am not getting rid of
A lot of shit.

Or am I?

At least, I do not think so.
I write only in a way
That looks good to me.
Or sounds right to my ear
When I read it aloud
To myself.

I sometimes think I would like
To write about lofty things.
Things from other places.
Places that one might deem
More important
Than the ordinary life that is my own.

But then I realize
That I do not know of any place
Like that.
And I cannot write of things and places
That I do not know.

How could I?

My friend Jim told me the other morning
that he was telling a friend's son
that he was trying to decide
whether to paint a landscape
of the gardens where we live
or of the animals.
The young man told him, "You shouldn't
paint about any of these things. I took some
photos while in Europe. You should paint those!"
And Jim said to me, "I don't want to paint about there!
I want to paint about here."

I understood that.

What this gives rise to
Is the value of speaking
For your environment
Not just of it.

Telling of things you know
For the things you know.

In other words
To point to the ordinary life
And offer a language
For the voiceless
To be seen in its
New expression.

And in this way
One might never see a familiar
Or an animal
In the same way


  1. The ordinary life is pretty important. Yep! I think so. And it seldom rings true when you write about things you don't know.

  2. The rain cool on that guitar!

    many times I've gazed along the open road...
    many times I've wondered how much there is to know...

    Keep writing... Look over the hills.

    Thx 4 the nudge....

  3. Hey, you're welcome. I know! It was a ukulele, off the cuff. Simply amazing.

    Write to me when you get a chance,

    Thanks for the comment :) K