by on November 23, 2022 :: 0 comments

You’ll want to think the poem comes from somewhere else, but it doesn’t.
You will write about a Poplar tree and cherry blossoms,
and the sun sinking like hearts sank on the day that Betty White died.
It’ll all be beautiful and moving
There’s no poetry in that,
you can always walk away from something pretty.
It doesn’t hold you captive.

For instance, you are standing at Niagara Falls
You’re in love, but you won’t say;
not with them standing there.
Not with palms that get sweaty in stressful situations.
You’ll just blush and scribble something.
The sun continues to sink in your poem,
It’s all very romantic
it’s all supper clubs and Liberace.
There is nothing daunting there.
You can walk away from that,
and you’ll want to think about it later.

Somewhere, in another town, someone regrets nothing, but it isn’t here.
That is not a place where poetry comes from
or any other type of art, but maybe you’re just being supercilious.
Well, who isn’t?
You’re only human and you are aging
Maybe that’s the problem
Maybe you’re just bitter
Good, that’s how poetry breathes

It is dark outside, and you are crying
There’s no hope in Texas,
there’s too much hope in California
And anyway, you’re used to Texas, so you stay.
You manage
You cry
You write
You can’t walk away
That’s where poetry lives, I think.
In hopelessness
and questions like,
what are you supposed to do about yourself?

– Anthony Ripp

editors note:

Ask and you shall… – mh clay

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