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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Poetry as a House

People who aren't poets seem to think it's some kind of sin, or at least self-indulgence, for poets to write about poetry. But it's a vitally important aspect of our lives, something we engage with continually; we're bound to have thoughts and feelings about it. I really like what my old friend Thom the World Poet just emailed:

poetry as a house

you build it yourself-
you choose the materials
you assemble like IKEA
you slap some painted words over the bare skin
set it in alignment with WHAT IS
and trust the wind of WHAT MIGHT BE will sing through its windows
which always face the full moon
flowing with watery feng shui
You know a house means more than wood
more than nails and floor and foundations and roof
It becomes a home when you can live within
when it both heats and cools you in appropriate conditions
when it rests upon solid foundations
and still aspires to skies
when it is different to other houses
yet shares a certain style-
the way it tilts sometimes
creaks with portent and intent
The way people feel when they inhabit your poem
if the skin of the frame fits them as well
so they can sleep and dream of better things
within the wood of words and forest of your intentions
There is more than metaphor here-all art is science
You need to build your world on solid foundations
If this poem is not your shape,nor size-find another one-
one that best meets your individual needs for sheltering
And you can still live outdoors-sans shelter,skyclad
Words are extra-they animate our lives if true enough to build upon
and waste our time when merely made of straw


  1. Oh, I love that!

  2. This is oddly true. Why are musicians not judged for writing about music or artists for writing about art?

    I've heard people say that writing about writing excludes the audience; in fact, I believe I've been told so myself. It's true that only a certain percentage of the population can identify, but the same is true, I'm sure, for anything you research and write about.

    Anyway, Bukowski got away with it.