Thursday, September 06, 2007


Allie and I went to a poetry reading last night. To be honest, I wasn't eager to go. I generally dislike poetry. Worse, this particular poet is a hot shot young staff writer for the New Yorker (based in Los Angeles, no less) so I knew my jealousy would kick in at least once during the evening. And it did, but I walked away inspired, too.

Allie didn't care for the woman's poems, but I liked them quite a bit. They were sort of like poems I might write -- short pieces that convey a sense of place, mood and just a hint of story. I had an inkling as I listened to her read that some of the blog entries I've written recently might well be beginnings of poems.

So I thought, Maybe I should be writing poetry.

Not a thought I was expecting to have. As I said, I don't really like poetry. Almost never read it.

Also, writing poetry would more than likely mean writing for nobody, except me and Allie and, maybe, the folks who read this blog. That's a challenge, because for me writing is wrapped up, for better or worse, in my capitalistic drive. It's hard for me to write something just for the sake of writing something. Of course, that's what I do with this blog, but this blog is all first draft stuff. You can't write poetry in one draft.

But then, maybe that's all the more reason why I should be writing poetry, precisely because it's worthless. Worthless, that is, within the value scale of my American life.

Maybe the true worth of life is measured in the moments we can steal away from our duties to net worth.


May said...

I consider myself a writer in general but a poet in particular and it is painful writing for no one. But if I didn't write, I wouldn't be happy with myself and that's more important to me. Plus, finding ways of sharing online has been the best way I've found to get feedback. Deviantart and livejournal both are good for that kind of thing.


Sarah Moffett said...

"Poetry is a language that tells us, through more or less emotional reaction, something that cannot be said." Edwin Robinson. Good luck in conveying the world inbetween the lines with words.

Dan said...

For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.

-- W H Auden