I liked the last poem I wrote [ed note: workshop did not]. I still like it, which is rare, and it's not helping me write my next poem, this liking. I'm stuck. Because the last one wasn't terrible, I want this next one to be not terrible too. I am putting a lot of pressure on this poem. It may be weeks before there's a poem. So, it was suggested to me that I write a "fake poem," a placeholder to get my next poem out of the way, to get myself unstuck. Write something without investment, without pressure, without ideas, without worry. Write something just to write it. Write SOMETHING. Here's my something. [ed note: suggestion box, you are cute]
FAR TO GO
Someone fire the solstice gun.
Honeysuckle’s star-eyed, and
the tether worms are turned
into silk-wings. The roses are
wind-blown. Come summer.
Come berry skin, freckle smack.
Come let the blood bugs spackle
my shoulder. Let the fireworks
fall in the river. The eucalyptus
has mother-head blossoms.
By this I mean, my mother stood
beneath one and we measured:
its milk-cup, her hair that should
have been white by now, but is
careful, red and brown, light
burned in like a child’s streak,
blonde wave right at my temple.
I thought it meant I had a wildness,
would be tempted: good or evil.
Far to go, my mother sang as she
blended it in with the others, two
long braids that slapped as I ran,
chanting, Thursday’s Child.
Larkspur, sycamore, azalea, cherry.
Then river, then airplane. Then
dune sleep, ice wine. Far to go.
Apple blossom, train track. Juniper,
jurupa, flesh grass, fire poppy. Far
to go. Far, far. Route 1, 71, M-35,
15,101. Good and evil. Braid slap,
hand slap. Blood on the fold-out,
lash in the field. Child in the river
to grow into cattail legs and hill
hips. A tall drink, a greedy mouth,
a Thursday child, hair already
gray-struck, thread-thick at the crown.
To grow into laugh ladders, smile ruts,
this round face, this buzzed want,