aqua fortis

Friday, January 30, 2009

Not a Poet

I appreciate everybody's interest in my poem. I hope it doesn't disappoint. You have to realize that I write almost exclusively prose, and have done so since college. I write articles; I write young adult novels; I write fairly bizarre literary short stories. I draw; I paint; I make prints. But poems? Gah. No clue. Beyond my ken and my ability both, though I appreciate poetry massively. Anyway, here it is.

A Poem about Why I Don't Write Poems

It could be a poem,
But I'm not a poet.

Even the words on the page correct themselves after I write them.
There could be an egg buried in the sand, but who would know?

There could be words,
But who would want to read them?

A poem is being naked in front of everybody. It says, this is me.
There are no layers of story or paint to protect it.

Give me something in return for my nakedness.
It is embarrassing to give this to you for free. I expect a fair bargain for stripping my layers away.

I gave you not just me
But me, bare, open to the sky.
I cracked an egg and let it slip slimy onto the page.
Tomorrow I might wish I hadn't.

You listen:

It doesn't hatch by itself. It doesn't break by itself. It spills mystery onto the blank white until a vine slowly grows, twining around a ruined foundation and reaching for the sky.

I sit naked at the root in a broken eggshell, forced to let go.

© Sarah J. Stevenson 2009


Anonymous said...

A poem about not writing poetry by somebody who professes not to be a poet and yet writes poetry about not writing brain hurts.

Good poem btw

Sarah Stevenson said...

You make it sound so complicated. :D

Jackie said...

I hate that by leaving this comment, I'm supposedly "heckling" because that is far from what I think is the appropriate term for this poem.

Simply, honestly, it's fricken awesome, Sarah. Truly.

tanita✿davis said...

That's pretty much what I have to say. Wow. This is an enormous, multi-layered, intelligent offering.

For someone who isn't a poet, and all, you know.

From someone who said that wow was "all" they had to say...

Stella B. said...

Ha! "Doesn't write poetry..." A local writing group is ready when you are!

Sarah Stevenson said...

Thanks, everyone.

I'll think about joining a poetry group when I write more than one poem every five years... :D