Ars Poetica

by Bill Bowler

in answer to Archibald MacLeish


Poetry is a blank stare,
a pounding, psychosomatic migraine.

Poetry is deep,
wallowing naked in imagined brilliance,
the promise of fame 100 years ago.

Poetry is damaged goods,
cracked and imperfect.

Poems are pimples on the tips of the Muses’ noses.
Poetry is being shat on by the high-flying pigeon of inspiration.

Poetry tells you stories,
kisses you to sleep
and turns out the lights.

Poetry is a sigh through the eyes.

Poetry depicts a strange landscape, a lake shore,
weeping willows, water lapping,
the full moon reflected and deflected.

Writing poetry is like playing
a musical instrument,
like blowing across a reed,
fingers touching light keys.

Poetry is inarticulate, sheepish,
looks down, blushes and stutters,
and answers vaguely
when you ask what it does
for a living.

Poetry lies awake all night
under a naked light bulb
illuminating a cracked ceiling.

Imagine writing something
even you didn’t understand,
you just felt
compelled to write.

Copyright © 2010 by Bill Bowler

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