Monday, July 22, 2013


I still try. I haven't given up
Completely on telling a story.
But storytelling now feels too much
Like an article of faith, or worse

A social obligation, a god,
A rule about the legitimate
Use of any sort of way with words
Not already applied to science,

Sermons, law, political speeches,
Publishable essays in prose,
Textbooks, and so forth. Write a novel,
Write a memoir, something nonfiction,

Anything, for heaven's sake, that tells
A good story, something dramatic,
Something with people being people.
Stories are rivers. Your poems are ponds,

Or worse, dry wells dug in scrub forests
Where every twig's a divining rod
And every tugging breeze a liar
Laughing in the leaves above the flowers

Where you dig down in absurdity,
Reaching only into darker soil
The next rains or wildfires pollinate
With fresh wildflowers growing from below.

Art's cavernous underground is carved
By stories that emerge from the sides
Of conversations and comedy
To combine and gather toward the sea.

What's another random spade of dirt
Dug out of this loam of loneliness,
When everything human is rushing
Down braided deltas, down to the shore?

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