Thursday, April 03, 2008


It's National Poetry Month. Love this picture. Anyway. It's slightly less ambitious than NaNoWriMo, and perhaps a touch more esoteric than NoBloPoMo, but nonetheless it's a month dedicated to a specific form of writing, and so it earns the weirdly abbreviated name NaPoMo.

I love poetry, which is an odd thing to say because quite often, I'll only really enjoy about 10% of any given anthology. But I find great satisfaction, comfort, and pleasure in the pieces I do enjoy. There are some poets whose words all find welcome in my heart. There are some things written by absolutely obscure poets that rank among my favorite writings in the world. In truth, the vast majority of poets are unknown. Superstar poets are rare, though I grew up in a town where one such master once lived. A town which now includes West Running Brook school and Promises to Keep wedding hall.

Once, I wrote poetry. In my youth, regularly and with much self-importance and melodrama. The closest I come now is tweeting in haiku form. C'est la vie.

In honor of NaPoMo, here is a piece that combines two of my favorite writing forms -- poetry and journaling.

What's in My Journal by William Stafford

Odd things, like a button drawer. Mean
things, fishhooks, barbs in your hand.
But marbles too. A genius for being agreeable.
Junkyard crucifixes, voluptuous
discards. Space for knickknacks, and for
Alaska. Evidence to hang me, or to beatify.
Clues that lead nowhere, that never connected
anyway. Deliberate obfuscation, the kind
that takes genius. Chasms in character.
Loud omissions. Mornings that yawn above
a new grave. Pages you know exist
but you can't find them. Someone's terribly
inevitable life story, maybe mine.

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