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Friday, January 23, 2015

What Makes a Poem a Poem Because Moan Lisa Asked

A poem is whatever you want to make
It can arrange letters to dance around
Rhyming if needed in a two-step half-turn shake
In end-line mimicry of A-C B-D sound

Or it could-good-goodery
Be the best Seuss that our pen stuffed with ink can make make makery
Snarfing dotes from the moats to float ink upon their coats
With words all over the nerds who read opera to their goats

Often it won't rhyme at all
Especially where things take a serious turn
With a dark moment illustrated in great detail
The feel of the pea green shag carpet between your toes
As your dad walked in still wearing his work suit
An unlit cigarette held too tightly in his left hand
Bending the tube of mighty fine tobacco until a small tear appeared in the paper
The spearmint smell of his breath as he tells you the news that your grandfather has died
And how it is really ok
Because that is what happens to everybody
And is the most natural thing that there is
Though you don't believe him
Because the world just won't turn the same without grandfather in it
To fix all the clocks and bicycles
To build all the chairs and kitchen tables
And tell you stories about the old country
In tales spattered with the odd German word and phrase as he forgets himself

Poetry can be.
A stopped up sink of stopping.
With periods.




I've seen poetry in xy78.88.00.09679
Which led inexorably to

Poetry is what you make of it
This arrangement of words upon a page
Which is itself just one facet of what poetry could be
Sometimes it never gets written down at all
Spoken out loud
Shouted into a canyon
And echoed back
For a thousand person audience
Or one person
Or just you and the mule that you rode in on

I've seen poetry in metal
With curves swerves jiggles and joggles
Paintings with colors I cannot still comprehend
A singer singing in a language I'll never understand
A wad of paper bronzed high upon a pedestal

All is poetry
Poetry is all

Though the thing that really screams out poetry
In all caps like this: POETRY
Is when I see it, or read it, or feel it
And it makes me stop in my tracks
Either mentally or physically
Causing me pause
To ponder its cause
Feeling revulsion joy disgust happiness sadness despair hate and love

The best poetry leaves an imprint upon something
Whether it is on the person who reads
Or the one who writes it
Or the rock in the desert it is inscribed upon

That is what poetry is to me