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On Writing a Poem

On Writing a Poem. (Policar, 2005)

I am standing with a bucket full of words,
into which I cannot see. I reach inside;
they squirm, try to evade me, fear the light.
I pull them out and pin them to the page,
try out their shapes, their textures and their tastes.
I watch them changing color as they dry.

I am floating on a tidal pool of words,
facing the sky. They roll beneath my back.
Beneath them lie the tangled algae strands,
the huddling schools of poet-fearing fish,
soft surfaces of mussels in their shells.

I am drowning in an ocean full of words.
They are the waves that crash into my mouth.
I spit them out and choke, gasping for breath.
They, strong and patient, pull me from the shore.

I am pregnant with a galaxy of words.
They are the suns and planets, dust and moons.
They strive to pull apart and rocket free,
each one in turn betrayed by its own mass,
each one its brothers' captor, trapped in me.

I am a universe composed of words.
They are my ears, my heart, my lungs, my nose,
meat in my belly, lover at my loins,
pins in my eyes, a rag stuffed in my throat.

I am become the shatterer of words.
I am every incantation and lament
The mewling race of man has ever sent
to an indifferent God, and every chant
and song of praise as well, and every speech
that ever stilled a fear or raised a tear
or bought a grieving love a moment's peace.
And through each line pulses a thready beat:
the blood of God and man, with which I write.

I am standing with a bucket full of words
into which I cannot see, before a page
on which I have disgorged a wave of words.
They drip and smear and blur, fall to the ground,
congealed into a sodden mass of sounds
and letters, plastered to a wall.

I am sobbing in a charnel house of words,
soaking my hands in lie to wash off blood
that gushes from my slaughtered victim's corpse
and soaks into the sticky ground and rots.

The bucket goes back to its ancient well,
still choked with dust and mold. I'm done with words,
And know that I'll be back to drink again.



May. 2nd, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
By all means, do.
Although "writing is simple... you just stare at a blank page and concentrate until beads of blood form on your forehead" is pretty good, too, and shorter.
Dec. 23rd, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Just rediscovered this poem whilst going through my [on-line, tagged LJ-]memories.

It's about where I am in the need-to-write-60-poems-in-20-days-or-less madness!
Dec. 23rd, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
I've been rereading my poetry and fiction tags a bunch, lately.
The recurring themes intrigue me.
I had pretty much given up on the 100/100 target, but unexpectedly writing thirteen poems on the 18th has gotten me considering it again.

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