Poetry as Punchline

As I continue to study this thing called poetry, or rather, read closely this thing called poetry that begs not to be studied because it longs not to be classified…I find that those masters of free verse are those who think by the sentence, write by the line, and unveil their ideas like comedians. If I were a Critic I would write a book called “Poetry as Punchline.”

I’m learning/and continuing to learn/that in order to live/one must go on learning…these things about poetry. And practicing them. Maybe some day I will have learned enough to write a poem good enough for a someone to recite in a time of need, as a blanket of comfort in a cold space, but now I feel I am learning to be good enough myself, not great, but the best I can; to live life with the knowing brevity of a sentence, to let it hang on the white cliff of poor enjambment and spill over with shock into the next moment, and to laugh like all hell is leaving you, like you’ve been punched in the gut by a king, and to have felt such a noble fist, an honor.



Everyday, a portal
I haul myself through-
This window. I reach for
The blossoms, pink
Against the gray sky.



Certain things, like purple flowers,
Spring from nowhere.
It seems only in vacant places
Can one be born, if from nothing.
If not vacant than surely barren.
No other lilacs, just weeds,
The unpanned evidence
That the unbroken earth is,
Indeed, thirsty underneath.



Better now,
Holding a bottle
Against a lampshade,
Pouring over the duplicity
Of the word drought
In a rainy season.

There is dry,
and there is plenty
Of hell to make
Your marrow shiver.
No difference in death
By ice or fire.

There is only water,
Tasteless to the nostrils;
And alcohol, a god
To a man’s throat.

Better now,
And on I go
Ignoring consolation.
Better joy, if sorrow
Is not distilled.

If thirst is left to burn,
if, left drowning,
Is the light

On the inside of a bottle.



Love is
In the making
Of invisible things
Made visible
As the windstrokes

That tell the tears
Of sparrow wings
Streaking homeward,
A muddled worm
Inside its beak.



All around
Us, a hallow,
Full of empty pockets.

In the cleft,
How many clouds can fit?

What colors ripening,
If a seam opens
Along the fabric of a hip?

Empty pockets all around
Us, hollow,
So every cloud can fit.


Now welcoming thoughts.


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