Saturday, January 2, 2010

poems about poem-making

An abiding weakness for many poets
is the poem-about-itself. Often seen
as a sort of vice -- oh no, not another
one! -- we strive to avoid this subject
because it's so common, insular,
in consequence many poems about
poem-making turning out rather
playful as they try to find fresh
ways of saying "it's what we do."

Another offering of a piece from
way back:


Dear Madam:

I'm a creature like your cat,
a sort of mini-muscled acrobat;
not flesh and fur, and yet I purr like her.

When you're obsessed, some project all astir,
a pencil in your teeth, books on the floor,
no room for even elbows anymore,

it's then cat leaps – "It must be time for love!" --
and settles on your lap. Well, I'm like that:
I lick your squiggly brain, my habitat.

I'm unheard music coiled in soft cat-sleep
gone yearning up toward sound through breath and heart.
You'll come awake with whiskers in your throat,

a little face intent behind your eyes
that stares and stares and wants its nice surprise:
some food for thought, a stroke, a scratch, a pat.

It's me!
Yours felinely,

The Poem-Cat.



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