A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Some things I’ve been thinking about

I wonder what it would feel like to find a groove
with poetry. To begin, and not to wonder,
How should I begin? Should I
write it out in prose and break the lines later?
Would that give the lie to verse?
I care about poetry, so I
versify as I go.
Would getting it right feel like
finding the perfect pelvic tilt?
Would my words feel weightless? Would they just
hover over the page like an over-
tone held just close enough to hear, but
no closer? Would it sound like
the tuning of the skies? Would
everything align?

Should I be more like Gerhard
Richter, painting? Should I hang
the poem on the wall and stare?
Should I threaten to destroy it, even
if it’s the most perfect thing I’ve ever
made? Especially if it is?
Or would it be more to the point
to write under the risk of destruction,
the risk of having nothing to show
for all my work.

I wonder how a person knows
they are writing a lyric poem.
I worry that I am writing one.
It has all of the signs.
It’s in the first person,
it’s in my voice (I think?),
it’s short enough to read in one sitting,
I could sing it for you.
Look there I go again.
To all appearances I am writing
a lyric poem. How

Sometimes I write in other people’s voices,
in dialogue, or from impossible perspectives.
You could say I am ambivalent about “I,”
that I do not know it or have a claim to it.
None of this would be a lie. But it’s not
why I write in other people’s voices, in dialogue, or from
impossible perspectives. I do that because I like it.

Would I be rejecting lyric if I wrote this poem
while I was eating dinner? Because I am eating dinner.
I just ate a salad. Now I have to
microwave the second course. I hate cooking
when I’m hungry. I eat when I’m hungry. You see
the problem.

Who are you, anyway, and why are you reading this?

I am having toast with hummus and melted cheese. I said
to A. the other day, I’ve been eating this ever since
I was a kid. Ever since I first tasted hummus
I knew that it would taste even better with melted cheese.
Muenster is best. Unfortunately I ate it all yesterday.

Is Twitter like this? I don’t know, but I imagine
you might.

Can you write a lyric poem if you don’t
know that you are writing one? What about
if you are a woman? Because I am a woman.
Can you write a lyric poem
if you have never taken a creative writing class? Because
I don’t think I have. I might have without
realizing it.

Hummus is better with Muenster, but I suppose any cheese
will do. I better finish this poem
while I am still alone. I have to remember
to disconnect the internet tonight.
Windows Support for XP is ending
and I am sentimental about this computer.

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