Response to Robert Okaji’s “How to Write a Poem”

You must read Susan Spilecki’s response. Much fun!


Response to Robert Okaji’s “How to Write a Poem”

How to Revise a Poem

Having learned to make a toast in nine languages

And setting aside the chainsaw with which I carved

This poem out of a block of fresh ice, I take up the scalpel,

Heated over the blue flame of the gas stove. I stand

For a moment like a conductor in white tie and tails,

Waiting for the crowd to fall silent, and make the first cut

Into the heart of the poem. Does it bleed? Do the words

Fall to the dirt among the pigeons? Do the courtesies

Sound hollow or sincere? The moon pulls at my arm

Like a cat in search of dinner or a playmate. I accept all:

Love, envy, ambition, and drive the wrong way down

One-way streets. They won’t catch me. They will

Park their Black Marias on the sidestreet, dig…

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12 thoughts on “Response to Robert Okaji’s “How to Write a Poem”

  1. Most kind of you to reblog me. If you ever want to start a volley of poems, maybe for April’s National Poetry Month, just let me know. I have never had the opportunity to be in poetic conversation with a poet before. It’s fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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