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I am trying to think up
a good poem. I would like it to be good
to make up for all the offenses
of bad poems. Though I suspect that's
too much to demand from my simple skills.
Even a really good poem would be able to atone
for little of the intolerance, torture, and warfare
conducted in the name of poetry.

Join me below the fold for a few more poem poems.

I got possessed by the poem as metaphor and for some months could not stop writing on the theme. 50 of these brief "poem poems" have been collected into a little book called Fact (& I do mean little; the book can fit in a playing card box and still bang around). I hope you enjoy a selection. I have appended a brief comment to each poem; the comment is not intended to be the only interpretation or what the poem really means, but rather a suggestion for further exploration.

This poem seems just like
wall, but push it, and
find its give. It is opening.
As you push it, it gives in.

comment: The page is like a wall, unresponsive. But work with it and you can find a way in. Perhaps this is true of people and political systems.

Though You Have My Permission to Write It

Everything has already been written.
Including this poem.

comment: Is originality essential? You have permission to be unoriginal and beautiful and human.

This poem makes no effort
to stir the emotions, hopes
rather, that they will settle,
as, at the bottom of the cup,
there is the fine powder
from the teabag, the
tea cooling.

comment: Getting a reaction is not always appropriate. Peace and rest are needed for healing.

The poem was still
lighting his mouth
when I kissed his
mouth. And I felt the
warmth of the very
small light that uncovers
a few words.

comment: Our words leave our bodies, but the meanings remain.

The poem thinks when it
comes to an end --
that will be it! Death!
Four lines, a fifth
and then -- eternal oblivion!

comment: It is in those five lines that the poem exists. It begins, it ends, yet it persists.

The poem is listening
and, at the same
time, talking -- perfectly
capable of this triumphal

comment: Don't you feel like the right words aren't just talking to you, but hearing your concerns?

Thank you for reading. Please leave your thoughts (and poetry) below.

For more on Fact go here.

For more of my writing I keep two blogs: LoveSettlement is for my more creative works; Dare I Read responds to books.

Though I'm LuvSet here, I'm Glenn Ingersoll everywhere.

     Join Indigo Kalliope every Tuesday afternoon.

                    Your own poetry is always welcome in the comments.

                       Bongos, berets & turtle neck sweaters optional.                                

                            The keyboard is mightier than the sword.  
Readers and Booklovers Schedule (note; new series by Brecht to debut on the 22nd!):
DAY TIME (EST/EDT) Series Name Editor(s)
SUN 6:00 PM Young Reader's Pavilion The Book Bear
Sun 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
MON 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery Susan from 29
Mon 11:00 PM My Favorite Books/Authors edrie, MichiganChet
TUE (alternating Tuesdays) 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
Tue 5:00 PM Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left bigjacbigjacbigjac
Tue 8:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views Brecht, bookgirl
WED 7:30 AM WAYR? plf515
Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
Thu (first each month) 11:00 AM Monthly Bookpost AdmiralNaismith
Thu (third each month - on hiatus) 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
Sat 4:00 PM Daily Kos Political Book Club Freshly Squeezed Cynic
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

bigjac here,
with the hosting schedule,
which is wide open,
for anyone who wants to host next week,
or some other week in the near future:

26th    open
5th      open
12th    open
19th    open
26th    open

Come teach us more about poetry,
as LuvSet has done for us,
or at least for me,

(Thanks LuvSet!)

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Night of the Hunter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LuvSet, bigjacbigjacbigjac

    Night of the Hunter

    Let’s go, please” my poem said.
    “You sure you’re not too old
    for the Merry Go Round?” I asked

    But I loved it and she knew.
    And so we went and I watched her.
    I should have known then:
    The solemn look on her face as she rode.
    It was the last time.
    I watched it whirl..there she was..and there.

    And now and then the white elephant.

    Gone for a year and Halloween.
    I thought I would see her tonight.
    Running in the dark TOWARDS me.
    The porch light is on.
    No-one came.

    And then I read about her!
    She had changed her name to Delia
    Lived with Mingus Colorados
    And she played a fair Ophelia
    In a forlorn summer playhouse
    In some godforsaken town.
    “Dooley, I think I can do Neil Simon
    Now that I’ve got Shakespeare down.”

    Delia’s gone. Oh, Delia’s gone.

    A postcard.

    “Dooley, Sourdough mountain is sooo beautiful.
    There are seven or nine stars in the Pleiades!
    I’m learning to play the autoharp!
    Gary Snyder says to say Hi!"

    A phone call.

    ”New York, Dooley! I’m having dinner
    At Sardis!
    I know where the ducks go – just like Holden
    I’m in love!
    Do you know Frank O’Hara?”

    Alone then for years
    I saw the pictures and she looked the same:
    The photogs with their Speed Graphic cameras
    The men beside her.

    Alone and then a call.
    “I’m sorry. I’m downstairs can I please come up?”

    And she was there!
    Older. I liked her hair
    It must have been raining
    And she
    Was sobbing “Oh, the others… I didn’t..
    I mean…”

    And I looked at her… all she put me through
    ..all the others and we still had a chance
    One good line. One good line!

    And I looked at her
    Afraid to touch her.

    “Baby, I said. You don’t have to
    say anything.

    Baby, I don’t care!”

    That was years ago.
    And I am alone.
    Now I can only write on trains.
    Like the guy who wrote
    “Night of the Hunter”
    One fist said “Love”
    The other said “Hate.”
    “It’s not dark yet…”

    Yeah, I know.

    •  Night, Fog, War (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LuvSet, bigjacbigjacbigjac

      Night, Fog, War

      You, sir, are no gentleman,"
      My poem said.
      I lit two cigarettes
      One for me, one for him.
      Two on a match.

      "Just like the movies,"
      he said.

      "Well, she's gone," I said.

      Night. Fog. War.

      "Of all the gin joints
      in all the towns in all the world,
      you had ..."

      "Shut up," my poem requested.

      "Let's just go."

      •  My dear john keats: That first poem (0+ / 0-)

        seems like a standard story;
        seems like I've seen something like it before,

        I love the way you cover different regions
        of the USA.

        Almost like a corny joke,
        but it makes me depressed;
        I'm a widower,
        certain things make me feel depressed.

        But thanks for the entertainment.

  •  My dear LuvSet, what's wrong with those (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    The people who saw this title,
    especially the others in the Readers and Book Lovers
    who simply failed to come here,
    read your profound analysis of certain qualities
    of certain poems,
    (expressed with poems!)
    and they failed to click
    on rec and tip jar,
    and they failed to comment.

    you did your job.

    I guess that's all you can do.

    At least I thank you.

    At least we have each other,
    even though I'm many hours late.

    Thanks again.

  •  I do love self-referential poems. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LuvSet, bigjacbigjacbigjac
    Introduction to Poetry
    Billy Collins

    I ask them to take a poem
    and hold it up to the light
    like a color slide

    or press an ear against its hive.

    I say drop a mouse into a poem
    and watch him probe his way out,

    or walk inside the poem's room
    and feel the walls for a light switch.

    I want them to waterski
    across the surface of a poem
    waving at the author's name on the shore.

    But all they want to do
    is tie the poem to a chair with rope
    and torture a confession out of it.

    They begin beating it with a hose
    to find out what it really means.

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