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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Line of Rhyme

Poetic pen

in a poem you are young
and every breath is a new one;

you burn
and make each word a sun,

ideas worshipped, an awry sophistication
in a cultural womb you can
feel your heart kicking
in an ever-expanding series of living,

frequently featured
angsty contributions,
raw self-proclaimations

and the many trepidations
over writing and reading poetry,

where there is no room to hide
what you're feeling
or thinking or trying
to say in irony or detachment;

for in a poem
you’re open--
lungs, heart, eyes--
and fragile, already saying you’re broken,
there's no way to distance yourself from it
or the shame about making an effort
to own your emotion

that makes you either rhyme
a turn of phrase, or drop
a line; an a-bomb of melodrama
dealing drugs to the mind,
so frightened
of liking or creating bad poetry,
or accidentally cutting a vein
and bleeding your creativity

but as you get older,
it becomes clear
you are the universe's recycled garbage,
what you’re experiencing
has been thrown out many times before,
and the feelings you’re feeling
are chemical reactions
running through billions of other bodies:

but when it's your first--
vital and intimidating--
you don’t really understand
when you're younger
it's an ancient brutal thirst,
locked as you are in a conviction
this has never happened to anyone else:

a discovery of the first thing that is yours,
the blood and bone of your being,
early memories of love breaking
beneath the skin;

open wide, the thought says,
I'm coming in,

giving you context,
a writing out of necessity--
without even thinking about poetry
as something with a history
you're responsible for;
and the words in you
are too young to feel embarrassed
for too long, despite your fear

you put it down on paper,
(yes, you channel the smell
and the dirt of real ink,
and you think, and think
like the poets of old)

then as you get bolder
and each experience tells you
your experience wasn't unique,
you start to wonder
how you ever thought you were;

but you are:

the most meaningful interaction
of you there ever can be,
you are the only person
who has ever been you
or who has experienced you,

open wider, the idea says,
I'm coming out,

and your insight grows
and the words snake out of you,
and you breathe because life is making you
and remaking you,
leading you through

a gateway of wrought-metal past
of times and places and lore
you brought into the world,
the childish things that shaped you,
newer works to change the locks
on the doors in you, keeping what resonates
hidden inside reinforced gates,
as the adult you are gets back up
from off the floor;

and walking back and forth
your footfall brushes
milestones that shaped your way,
and your toes dig in
to the earth of the fields you grew in,

and hands raised you sway
in the sun, for in the long run
you are no longer
embarrassed by the delusions of youth,

for you are truth
that runs out of time,
and out of your control,
unable to take in everything

in one short life;
you are, in fact,
just a quick walk
down to the ground,

you are just a wish, a hope
as the years go,
(a trope of whatever finds you
at the right time)

and the wisdom that brings solace
about being recycled space
others have walked,
and will walk down
in this line of rhyme.

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