Poem in the First Person


Wait! Before you begin a new poem
do you really want to add yet one

more to the planet’s population of unread poems?
Are you so sure what emerges will be

among the read ones the ones in their
own daylight aboveground leading

happy lives as part of the melodious family of
read or at least skimmed over or even

half-heartedly glanced at poems?

Those of us who are among the unread
have to hang out in neon-lit 24 hour diners or

hospital emergency rooms in case someone
somewhere might turn to us or happen upon us

and begin reading silently to themselves or
on a good night or day

even read us out loud
(I’m thrilled at the prospect!)

We all have to be on call and all our
ducks in a row so to speak in

readiness but you should know
we’re the Silent Majority we poems

gorgeously written but
never read

I don’t want to discourage you and
getting read may not be

uppermost in your mind as you set out yet again
through the beast-ridden savage forest of a

new poem

Maybe for you a poem being
alive anywhere under

moonlit clouds in a haunted purple
landscape with wide-eyed creatures is

enough and if someone should actually
turn on a light and read it and it flowers into full

Technicolor and sense-surround sound well

And if it stays in a
dark drawer as so many of us did for so

long with Emily’s tidy
ribboned bundles that’s

Okay too —
Go ahead!

Write on!
God speed

and good luck!

(from 2011, from new book: The Match that Becomes a Conflagration, in preparation, insha’Allah.)

Categories: Writing down Poems, Poems