June 21, 2010
Looking through a few poetry books, first two handfuls grabbed from the bookshelf that sits in the hall filled with poetry (you would think it would sprout wings and flowers). I am looking for a poem for a friend, finding many gems but not for the type poem requested, more poems that remind me of why I love poems and how they speak to me between the lines and after the commas and periods and the close of the books. There is one book, a slim volume, I won't name the poor poet, as besides being a mere 25 cents marked at the book fair, someone has scrawled "Terrible Crap!" on the title page. I can't remember if I have seen that before - I am just perverse enough to buy a book of poems just for that reason alone. I like to browse. I can tell a good poem from a bad poem - but often I like a bad poem as well as a good - for the heart or thought behind it, for a winning line. I take my poems from songs and subway walls and tidy lines and ambiguities and clear as a bell and Hallmark sentimentalities and children's scrawls and little pockets and enormous shattering truths. Best, the poem that lands on your open palm like a snowflake, ice star, magical, melting the words into your skin, a soul's tattoo.