I sat there
phone to my ear
watching someone elses screen –
We waited in awkward silence
not knowing if the other
was busy doing something else
or about to speak.
Neither – but we stared at the screen,
The green bar slowly edging
closer to 100 percent.
Light, amplified and stimulated
A cable’s length is emulated.
Vocal cords emit a monologue
Itssignal obviously analog.
But digitized it travels
And on the other side unravels.
A speaker re-assembles
A sound my voice resembles.
Today I went to a meeting of the minds
To try and make a led horse drink.
We picked it up and threw it in the lake
But all the old thing did was
I opened the mailbox to more junk mail and advertisements than usual today. So I decided to cut it all up and turn it into somewhat of a poem. It’s so nice of the advertisers to give me not only inspiration but the words I need to express it too.
Nice to see you
I always enjoy
Our afternoon walks
But sometimes I wish you
Would stay for dinner too
Poetry, like any written work, needs revision. I suppose there might have been a handful of times when inspiration for a short poem hits and what comes out the first time is good enough. But most times there’s a good bit of thinking, speaking and writing that goes on after the initial words are put to paper.
When I say good enough I mean I’m happy with the way it sounds and I feel I’ve gotten my message across. In other words, good enough is an incredibly subjective measure of a poem’s completion.
Notice that I didn’t say a poem is good enough if half the people who proofread it say it’s OK. No, good enough comes before any eyes but mine have beheld the work. And that makes it incredibly dangerous. Because whether I think my message has been put across or not or whether it sounds good, no one else may see it that way.
That’s why the initial words of a poem’s first draft usually shouldn’t be published. It’s tempting (and I do it more than I should) to just put them out there quickly and see what happens. But that usually results in reading them later and cringing when you realize you let other humans read that slop.
Those initial words are not the poem; not really anyway. Instead, they’re the idea, the inkling of a theme or the exploration of a subject. Usually, when I think I’ve got something good, I’ll walk away from it for a week or more. I come back to it later with fresh eyes and see that it wasn’t very good in the first place. It’s then that the poem begins to be written.
A few hundred characters is a tweet
A few hundred words is a post
A few hundred pages is a book
And a few hundred more is
The instruction pamphlet for my shaver
Planning to go is fun
as is having gone
but being there is often
less so than either one
I was bored the other day and was trying to get myself to do something; anything! I decided to give myself two minutes to write a poem. It didn’t matter how short or unrefined it was (good thing). It was only important that I wrote something.
What I came up with probably should have only taken one minute. It’s short, circular and has no deep meaning. But it felt good to accomplish something anyway.
I have two minutes
To call the muse
And have her show me verse.
So any lines
I here put down
Must naturally be terse.