For Poetry’s Sake 


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For Poetry’s Sake

The urge to write poetry
Is inborn, like prophecy
Not all poetry wants to
Be storytelling, or rhyme

Or sound like other poets
We might have heard or ignored
Neither does poetry require a topic
Or a message, it can be

Just a matter of lovely language
Just beauty on the stray and loose
It doesn’t need to suffer
For the page or owe the pen anything

Poetry is of so subtle a spirit
We might as well discuss with our soul
What to write next, it’s learned
Through decades of loving

Words and having an itch
To write when nothing else is going on
Speculative metaphysics and art?
Try poetry, and unremember your life

Create layers on top of memory
Write poems, create destiny
Out of the fictions of your mind
It’s like a spell and a sacred hearing

Learning poetry by heart is then
Learning yourself by heart
And there is nothing like
Loving yourself in a poem.

Talking poems that speak of poetry


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I Like Poems that are Little Games

I sometimes talk to you
About making a poem with a poem
Within language I end in pleasure
It’s not like pain filtered

It’s like bliss and peace
Usually a life turned
Into a poem can be misrepresented
Or divinized, you don’t make a

A poet with ideas, not with words
You make it with feeling
Poetry is not a memory
It’s an experience you write down

You don’t help people
In your poems, you just
Relate your view of beauty
And they can participate or not

A poem is born of revelation
It cools in the night air
It pops the end of tragedy
For poetry outlives us

And it can reveal everything mysterious
Because itself is intuitive
Dancing in the heart of
Sonnets and odes that became

Birds of musical merit
That’s something I’d like to talk
To you about, how a pencil
Can become a painting

How a piano sonata can
Become a young woman.

One Book of Poems is like a Novel 


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One Book of Poems is like a Novel

You do not seem to have
The heart of poetry
You do not suffer tragedy
Like a liar who always speaks the truth

A poet looks at the world
The way a man looks at a beautiful woman
As if he will be haunted by her
All day long, the poet doesn’t

Have to invent, she listens
She listens all day
Like a solider ready to liberate words
From their steadfast possession

Of definition, form, ignorance
A poet must be a psychologist
She must find secrets
And tell them in some grasping narrative

For too much feeling unearthed
Like the soul lost, a mother-tongue
There is poetry as soon as
We realize we possess nothing

Then all the world comes alive
Sometimes poetry is inspired
By the conversations of life
Other times by the readings of other poems

There you go again, plucking
My heartstrings and making
Music with them, each word
Bears the weight of your loneliness
I’ve read my own quite slowly too.

There Would be people who listen 


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There Would be people who listen

Poetry being internal rambling
Is a lousy form of activism
It doesn’t really change much
In a world where poetry
Doesn’t get read, actions are not words

Though words may be a kind of
Act, a poem doesn’t start
A revolution, isn’t a political

Act of martyrdom
Though a poet is the best imitator
This art being the easiest to dabble in
The hardest to truly reach excellence
And the most lovely to quote

What’s a good quote without
The sense of magic
That concentration and economy

Unique to good verse
Like a short story compacted
Into a few brilliant lines
It’s contemplation of years soaked
In the seconds of our precision

If a spirit would ever want to be precise
I do not know, though the soul
Might want to love intent

Because you’ve got to find the truth
Within you, and penetrate it
Like having a very intuitive pen pal
Very far away, you have to
Summon her, exchange lives with her.