Like Doctor Frankenstein,
the poet desperate to breathe poetry into
the blank corpse of random words
lying dead on the slab before him
digs down through the trivia and detritus
claws into the calamities and exultations of
his life that was never enough until
now when it is too late to begin

So much has passed
word after line after stanza after page
similes metaphors symbols visons epiphanies
stark revelations concerning minutiae tiny discoveries
histrionic compulsions fully impacting discrete microcosms
that hardly mattered moments after the words appeared

What is the point of performing an art that ranks
in the public consciousness with sounds
made by huffing across a jug mouth?

In Celtic history, among others, two clans could resolve
their disputes with a battle between
single representatives chosen from
each clan’s most powerful
the mightiest warrior or the clan poet
the other clan would select whether
they would rather face the poet or the fighter
most often they chose the warrior
because the poet was rightly feared as
the one who could demoralize, ridicule
defeat them without bloodshed
this in a culture with an oral tradition that carried
the mythology the history the anecdotes
without changing a word for thousands of years
so precious were these words these verses, these poems.

What is a poem to us?

In this culture of chosistes, in which facts outweigh
ideas in which sophistry trumps substance
in which money talks louder than ideas
In this chosiste culture poetry has no place

But there is another culture
the culture of the real mind
once inhabited by the child
who saw no clothes on the clown
in that culture art is clarity
in that culture all can speak
in that culture all can comprehend
in that culture digging moves mountains

So we shall dig
and we will write poetry

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
This entry was posted in Creative writing, on poetry, On the process of Writing, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

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