Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back Words

Say the endless wrangle over
the true meaning of the thing
came first.
Followed quite a bit later

by the publishing party.
And, on its heels
the actual act,
the publishing.

And the poem processed back
word by word from there
to the lingering agony
over the final form,

the last edits.
Dozens of private recitations
follow the preceding,
including a reading

just for you.
A good thorough edit
of the poem long since
committed to a final form

and time arrives for idle
How could I write such
…such a calamitous

wrinkle of words?
This despairing moment
has no power to preempt
the poem lurching backwards

to be born.
On the eve of typed,
cross-hatched, crossed out,

write overs,
good words over bad
over still worse
and all the reconsiders

that, in this world,
precede the smile
shining down on the
virginal version,

printed, luminous, transformed,
dignified, formal,
quickly comes the serious look
at the thing in pencil, fresh

from what comes next,
the first blush
of a creative moment
not yet spoiled.

No comments:

Post a Comment