Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Change

"fine" "Wonderful" "powerful"

and the head patting begins.
The above words were all used to describe one of my poems. One that took me about 15 minutes to write.

"Powerful" does not happen in 20 minutes. Maybe if someone such as Strand, Bukowski, Neruda - maybe they can write a "fine piece of poetry" in 20 minutes. I am an amateur and have done no such thing.

The Change

We left Mardi Gras and gumbo
took only our clothes and accents
with us -- our adventure
to rediscover love. Pacific dreams
and salty sunrises lured us.

When the Jeep limped into Austin
you knelt, laughing
one-kneed in the dusted lot
and asked me

to help you swap spare for flat.
Perhaps the problems we ran from
were stowed away, locked in the trunk,
escaping with the jack and 4way.

More likely they were carried
in the lilt of your voice
and the deception of your
mechanical proposal.


  1. There's a story about a consultant who charged £1,000 for a consultation. One of his clients complained "How can you charge that much for an hour's work?". To which he replied "I don't charge it for an hour's wrok - I charge it for the experience of a lifetime".

    So I wouldn't knock it-just spend another 20 minutes on making it even better!

  2. Erin...don't get made at me here, but I do believe powerful can come that fast. Some people do have to force their poetry (lately, I am one of them), but don't you think there are some to whom the words and power just flow naturally? I do. Ever seen a picture - snapped in 1/250th of a second - that made you want to cry? Not necessarily a posed, planned picture, just something that was caught unexpectedly. A poem can be caught unexpectedly too. It's not about how long it took you, it's what you captured. You have to stop selling yourself short...

  3. okay, I checked and it wasn't me. Had you received that comment in the pic of the day folder, I wouldn't question it because that's just how that folder works. Funny thing is, many of the quick writes we do in there are pretty damned good.

    I guess that's one of the reasons I will never be a great poet, I do all of my writing like that.

  4. I suppose I believe that powerful can happen quickly, just not at the end of my pen.

  5. Then you haven't seen the last two poems you posted at MTC.