Tessa, About This Poetry Shit

I admit it. I’m literary as shit.
My revelries, how unreal, but c’mon
they’re built to scale, so I can
scale them up or down. Up and they’re
tremendous–outrageous even–
or down, down, down.

My son keeps talking about money
as if it’s a scale of anything,
of any worth, and maybe it is,
the real scale. So this is thin,
this is unlauded, this poetry shit–
so why keep doin’ it.

I built it a coffin. Does that
satisfy you? Does it?
It’s something I started and then
it kept multiplying, and now
became a sunlit room, even as
I’m typing now.

It’s got my heart in it, okay,
maybe even blood. So it must be
sacred, some kind of legacy,
you imbecile, you stone hard
of hearing–keep that wound so
as to ripen.

Prompt: Hey there, I must be in some kind of rebound. Hope so. So I’m asking, how do you answer poetry detractors? You know. How do you get real, because everyone’s expecting you to, you know, dump this stuff and get a basically poetry-less, commercial-driven, unliterary real life? If your heart is in poetry then how? How do you dump what you love to do? Do you drive it to a dumpster? Yes of course, real life is privileged over fiction. Yes, I’m going. I’m going down down down…to tie my shoelaces. Scoot.

And if none of this inspires you, then maybe Seamus Heaney would.

“The soul exceeds its circumstances”. Yes.
History not to be granted the last word
Or the first claim … In the end I gathered
From the display-case peat my staying powers,
Told my webbed wrists to be like silver birches,
My old uncallused hands to be young sward,
The spade-cut skin to heal, and got restored
By telling myself this.”
–from “The Tollund Man in Springtime”


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