November 23, 2007

December Journal Entry

Perhaps consider poetry
a gourmet grocery shop,

endless pyramids of
shape-shifting fruit:

persimmon, star flower, pomegranate Ė

and across the aisle
in hand-woven oval baskets:

Vietnamese coriander,
Thai basil, Chinese leaves.

Experiment without knowing
the exact region where

the pomegranate is grown
the pronunciation of the Chinese leaf.

But donít set out to deceive
the check-out girl;

you canít pretend that youíre
a kumquat or a chanterelle.

And get away with it.

Instead, practice rapture Ė
and inquisitiveness, pose

a question to the golden
beet, the artichoke heart;

engage with a yellow fin.
The page relies

on the clean attempt
to move beyond the safe way.

Where is the ineffable?

Bring home a mango
prepare it with Kosher salt.

—Susan Rich
first published in 5 AM.

Posted by dwaber at 02:05 PM

November 22, 2007

Not Writing

                       The pen is the tongue of the mind.
                       ~ Miguel de Cervantes

Iím creative as a lamppost tonight,
the ignition switch
burned out.

Spotlight blown from a single branch
along this rutted, side-worn street.

Iím emptied of loquacious lovers,
of one old Italian monk;

a golden dog licks his leg,
makes his mark, smooth and easy.

Words, words everywhere Ė
and not one S placed right.

Where lurk the amorous vowels?

Swept along by elliptical ships, feasting
on amaranth pears?

Tonight, teach me
the timing of a tangent,

the cartography of a constellation.

No, no, not tonight dear.
Not there, not here.

—Susan Rich
first published in Quarterly West last year.

Posted by dwaber at 02:53 PM