Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I'm a poem man.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped writing poetry. For me, this was telling, considering I had an on-again, off-again habit of putting pen to pad since my college years. More telling? I wrote just five of them last year. Five! From writing a poem every day in my peak months and weeks to barely getting five out in the course of a year? It made no sense. The fact I was so apathetic about writing them again didn't seem to, either.

The good news, then, is that I have decided to write one each day this month, in honor of it being National Poetry Month. I hope it will allow for a much-deserved kick in my proverbial flanks. It's needed. It'll belabor the point, I suppose, for me to let on that I now believe I don't just write poems, but that I very much feel I am a poet. That helps. I came to that realization when I was reading over pieces from the past couple of years, some that I'd never read again after writing them. There's much to be observed in this world and, well, some of it is best expressed in poetry; I don't know why, exactly ... it just is. 

Here's a semi-polished piece from the vaults to explain what it is I mean. May be a bit image-heavy, but still. Hope you dig. (Oh, and it's best when read out loud, as are most things.)

Why can't my wants be what they were yesterday
when all I wanted to do was learn how to play my harmonica
like a campfire cowboy, grow my beard for months
searching the countryside for the music that ignited my insides?
They've yet to go away, but more keep getting heaped,
piled in with those I'm still living.

The scrubbed-new boy eight rows ahead
of me, the one with orange hair and eyes so unreal
he looks like he's not exactly one of us?
His existence alone makes me want to have one like him,
a little guy, the sort I carry around in a backpack,
refusing to cut his hair so's he can sprout the mini-dreds,
learn the guitar blues by the age of 5.

When joy threatens to blow a hole
clean through my wall in the midnight
I know it's a bunch of the young drinkers
sips between laughs, but
break me off a piece of that, too.
It'd be pretty pleasant to share smiles
with a somebody and Tom Hanks
and his one red shoe. It's high time
I share my bean bag with a regular.
It's time again to begin.

And what of these anchors I keep
placing on my person? Too many times 
I'm attached to the helium balloons
the ones allowing express trips to my past
the vacations I ended for a reason.
Having feet stay on the ground is a 
sound decision. The is where 
my roots are
and must remain
amongst the baseball zucchini
ruby red tomatoes and raspberries.

There's progression here, not so hidden
in the seedlings. I aim to harvest
when the season's right. *

— 8/23/06


Mel said...

Hhhmmmm, I like.

Anonymous said...

You and that bean bag have been together a long time. Really beautiful. You are a poet.