Saturday, February 11, 2012

Poems are good for you

Here's something I didn't know:
Poems are good for you.
Poems are good for you because they open up new places inside and break your heart in entirely new ways. Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for beautiful prose, but sometimes poems make things beautiful where prose falls flat on its face. Discovering this has been really exciting. I love reading poetry collections. I love that moment when I read something and I just want to hold it inside me forever. Or that moment when I stand in pure awe at how wonderfully scraps of words can be strung together. I love staying up late writing poetry. I love that my thoughts can mold themselves into a poem. If I take nothing else away from my creative writing class, this new love of poetry made the class a worthwhile pursuit. In no other class can I walk in an say "I want something to break my heart" and have my teacher hand me something that will! That's pretty incredible. This is why I assume everyone wants to be an English major. I'm sorry, biology will never break your heart quite like a poem will. Never.
I've started a poetry journal. I already have section of my journal that's for quotes, but it was starting to fill too quickly with poems. So poetry now has a journal all its own. Good thing I always have an extra moleskine on hand.
So here's a poem I wrote:

Aura

salt            
            bitter    graceless   soothing
   tastes of people
   she
          the earth
    us
            our breath
                        uniquely
                        alive
where light
    is between
                in my heart
                         and
                 on my skin
hibiscus blooms orange
                                    pink yellow
            tucked behind ears
            take a picture
            trace
                           palm’s lifelines
     familiar
                                     comfortable
roots - counterpoint
            to anchors -
  vanish like spring
                                 like secrets
                                        dreams
                                        smoke -

            No one come in.


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