Sunday, March 7, 2010

My first public poem

Yesterday, out in front of the art museum on a gorgeous sunny Saturday with spring starting to make itself known, I started to wish I could write poetry. But I always seem to have this blockage. And suddenly it dawned on me. My wish has always been to write poetry....not to write GOOD poetry! LOL!! It's just been my perfectionistic voice that put up all these barriers to my attempting it. A familiar feeling that "others" can do it but not me. What garbage! I am the wordsmith! Always have been. So I decided that if I didn't really care if my poetry was any good, but that instead I wanted to honor and play with words and let them OUT of my head,then I would declare myself a poet. So today I declared myself a poet. And then wrote a big long poem and didn't care if it was a "real" poem or any good or anything. It was just what came out. Here it is:

"I am a wordsmith,"
I always say,
But a wordsmith wouldn't abuse her words
by keeping them so tightly under wraps.

I always keep the gate up
like they're going to gallop off
and embarrass me.

I wait until they're lined up
like prim girls in party dresses,
legs twined at the frilled ankles,
patent-leather shoes shining, squeaking uncomfortably as they rub.
Little halo-crowns gleaming on their
little-girl heads. The words are me.

Do you love me now?
They ask to the empty room,
the audience having died,
the clothes no longer fitting,

the lonely emptiness being the most palpable
and important thing that's left.

(Ashamed but only seen by herself, she
takes off the ill-fitting shame.
Drops it in a heap. Steps out.
Brushes off. Throws open the window and leans out,
squinting at the brightness.)

In the beginning was the word
and the word was good
and the word was God.

Below the window, the little girl sees
the words of others gamboling down the street,
shining and twirling and establishing themselves

for the words are our thoughts
and they must be free
because thoughts
and words
are what we build lives with.
It's what the world is made of.

Without my words,
I'm not quite real.
And without air and sun my words die.
And so will I.

(So the little girl ventures
down the steps of the empty house.
Out the front door.
She reaches into her pocket
for a handful of tattered, rumpled words and

flings them to the wind.....)


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