May 21, 2008

The Poem Can Be Completed By Anyone

This is difficult for me to admit, but the poem
can be completed by anyone. You need not invest any particular
time or money into it; you need not even care much
for the results, the eventual outcome, as long as you lend your ear
for an instant, we will deem the experiment complete,
and you can be on your way, contemplate how it is you ended up
with those brats for children, this county for your namesake,
when you had ideals once, dreams, and you even used to pick up
a book or two, not that you ever thought much about poets,
but they were ok, worth keeping around, and so it might come to you
as a surprise but this poem needs you, whoever you are, it doesn't really
matter as long as you have eyes, as long as you breathe, whether
it's into the air or by tube, makes no difference, but you must
have at least the faintest pulse, a poem needs at least that to go on,
though it need not be finished, it's had so much trouble finishing lately,
what with everything else and all, which is why, poor passersby,
I've latched onto you the business of seeing this one through:
What is it you'd like to say?
What do you have to say for yourself?

—Priscila Uppal
from Ontological Necessities (Exile Editions, 2006)

Posted by dwaber at May 21, 2008 01:11 PM