Tuesday, November 9, 2021



The worst is when a poem starts to fail.

You could always try to

Sand it down

Cut a few words

Cull an hackneyed image 

Tinker at the edges

Until you can pretend you don't hate it.

Like now.  Your life.  

But you’re not alone.

Phone an old friend.

Find a stack of forgotten photos

Shoe-boxed in the attic.

Pretend you’re a boy again

Armed with all that you now know.

You’ll be ready this time.

When she smiles

You’ll have the perfect line.

Everything will belong,

Even the empty spaces,

This line break,

This far away rhyme.

It’s all a beautiful racket,

Probably, in the end.  

Scratch out a verse

If you can stand it.

Every poem is a failed poem

Otherwise we’d only ever need to write one.

Every life is wild, risible success 

And so we only get one .


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