Tuesday, August 10, 2010


"Who shall measure the heat and violence of the poet's heart
when caught and tangled in a woman's body?"--Virginia Woolf

I don't know
if a woman
can win

a poetry contest
with unwashed hair
and unwashed linoleum

I don't think it is possible
to win
with her edges of words

like cliffs stepping off
into boiling canyons
I mean she has no degree

but the degree of her fury
flaming as a wild fire flames
vast and disproportionate

smoking trees like cigarettes
laughing at the pissing hoses
Will the editors in their

jackets hear the crow outside
her window screeching
from its short branch

or the baby snorting awake
in his crib
I doubt it is possible

from the far away
mess and warmth
of her small brown apartment

tripping over plastic toys
to get to her desk
the way other people run

through the gate
knowing already they are too late
for their flight

1 comment:

TC said...


What a fine, strong poem.

I don't think it's possible to win this game or even a good idea to consider winning. The winners are the losers. The editors and the contests are pools of loss covered over with the false foam of an empty glory.

The losers are the winners if they come away with the poems that strengthen our hearts. "Woman" nor "man" matters much, it is all one in whatever place the soul lives, quiet, raging, apart, yet seeking some impossible union, somewhere, sometime, somehow.

Whether patiently "down the line" or in the infinite here and now.