Monday, March 26, 2007


Just a few days ago I saw a car on the side of the road. My wife recognized it as a car that had run up on my bumper and passed me with a delightful zeal about a week before. I remember the primordial and terribly delicious sense of schadenfreude rise up in my chest before being squashed by my civilized sense of mercy and pity. Is that poetry? Or is it merely the stuff that must be molded into poetry? Is poetry something we do, or something that is done to us?

Yesterday I sat on the porch swing and sipped whiskey until my head spun like a rusty merry-go-round, grinding and screeching its slow circuitous route. All thoughts melted away, and Descartes' famous maxim, "I think, therefore I am," became obliterated with the clankings of chipped ice against an empty glass. My body reverberated with pure and solemn existence, and it reinforced my ardent belief that my best ideas come from no thoughts at all. Is that poetry? Is poetry something we think, or something that thinks for us?

This afternoon I passed some boys playing basketball in the street, and I was transported to a care free time when the biggest worry was getting home in time for supper. I remembered the time I jumped over a creek and felt the universal thrill and ecstasy that only comes from doing the uncharted and unexplored. The tingling of the skin and emotional compression of the bone that only comes from taking risks. Is that poetry? Is poetry something we feel, or a thing that forces us to feel?

Is this poetry?

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