26 March 2013

A Poem for When I am Not Writing Poems

In fiction, I must ask:
What’s my character’s problem?
And not: Why aren’t I outside looking at the moon,
singing to her and pining for all things light and dark
to touch me in ways I can only dream of being touched?

In fiction I must write silence into my dialogue without saying
“Insert awkward silence here.”
Who knew?

Who knew that a life of nothing much would
lead me here, to a keyboard in the middle of the night,
to a man dancing parallel lines to my groovy hips?

And now I’m driving toward a one and only future,
one I can’t imagine but somehow have known,
at least I’ve known to write it down, to document.
I document for those who dare not speak, but what do I have to say for them?
I have no problem, hence
my character has no problem, unless you count
a general problem with the way the world works
as a central problem to solve. Why have we come this far
and not solved rape?
Why have we come this far to debate on
who can and cannot be married?
Why have we come this far?
It’s not very far at all, is it?

But we are far – far from the one, the one true point
I don’t even believe
we’ve really ever come from: that garden, that snake. Nope. Don’t buy it.
Everything will change, but how
have we evolved so far from divinity? So far from light and truth
and justice and peace for all? Who will you pledge your allegiance to
when the moon doth not shine? Who will you side with
when there is no light to see any sides? Because that light is gone
as far as I can tell,
and I’m not even a poet.


What it’s like to give up writing poems:
I’ve given up my camera,
I am unable to take pictures of your thoughts,
snap snap
I just took your heart
an eyeball’s core with that image of
your brother’s bleeding wrists you had wanted to forget
not even bandages cover up what my camera can capture.
I miss it. The darkness like my own private dark room,
the way my heart reached out to it
in negative phototropism.
The way my whole being would turn to it
in order to get the poem.
Poems come from dark and silent places,
and also light and fluffy ones.
But mostly dark.

Poets Know:
it’s not an attitude, it’s an attunement.
It’s not always about line breaks and enjamb
ments. Nor is it always about witnessing. Rhyming,
definitely not even close to being about rhyming.
But what? That question
says it all.


Dak Gustal said...

I barely know you. One day
I decided to be a poet. Damn
the consequences, I was
going to be one of a grand
handful descending through
time. My thoughts and words
would reach through me to you.
But poetry? What good it it?
Other than what it does to you
and me when we share it, about
as much as the sun does to trees.
Thank you for your writing, Samantha. I barely know you, but you do reach through
the lines. We are out here
looking for each other
all the time.

Sam Poet said...

"We are out here
looking for each other
all the time."

Thank YOU! I love these lines. It is exactly the human condition, huh? The searching and the wanting to be filled by something larger than us. Poetry provides a structure to guide our searching, and also to bring people together. Even if just in words, it's a togetherness that is needed in this world.

Thanks for reading and for commenting, I look forward to more of your words, fellow poet!