January 11, 2009

Ars Poetica: Punitive Version

I begin writing by reading,
warming up with the masters
and the minors, and sometimes

the poem Iím holding
under the light of a single lamp
begins to draw all the poems

Iíve ever read and loved.
From assigned cells in the head
or kneecap, they appear,

the ones who picked my locks
and crawled through my windows,
vague, sleepy faces of both the formerly free

and the formal, crowding for a look.
Some begin chanting,
fresh verse, fresh verse,

while others bet on meaning,
tercet, and wit, or was it
the rhyme in the last line that did it?

—Derek Sheffield

Posted by dwaber at January 11, 2009 02:08 PM