New Poem!

“Write some poems that consist of very long lines. Get a feel for what seems to work in this particular form – for how quickly you need to release information, how the poem flows. Read poems by Walt Whitman, Robinson Jeffers, Allen Ginsberg, and C. K. Williams – all of them use the long line beautifully. When you’ve written something that seems to work pretty well, break the poem into very short lines.

“If the exercise is successful, you should feel that the short lines ruin the poem.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

 

Long Lines

Our father sits like a tree with book in hand

only the slight wind rustles his leaves

He doesn’t move as we squirrels play

He is our solid, our roots

 

Mother flutters like a bee around the kitchen

She is never still – like a shark she might die if she stops swimming

Mother calls to us and catches the youngest for a kiss as we run by

She is our sunlight, our warmth

 

I adored my family as a child

It was perfect and unbreakable before I found my father’s secret

I am like a turnip, with secrets underground

No one will see this turnip and it will grow and grow and grow

its leaves will devour all the sunlight

its size break apart the solid roots

The secret, its keeper, will destroy all.

 

 

 

Short Lines

Our father

sits

like a tre

with book in hand

rustles

his leaves

He doesn’t move

as we squirrels play

He is

our solid

our roots

 

Mother flutters

like a bee

around the kitchen

She is never still

like a shark

she might die

if she stops swimming

Mother calls

to us

and catches

the youngest

for a kiss

as we run by

She is

our sunlight

our warmth

 

I adored

my family

as a child

It was perfect

and unbreakable

until

I found my father

‘s secret

I am

like a turnip

with secrets

underground

No one will

see this turnip

and it will

grow

and grow

and grow

its leaves

will devour

all the sunlight

Its size

break apart

the solid

roots

The secret

Its keeper

will destroy

all

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