I’m not a poet

I’m just reading something the poet in me wrote
I’m just repeating what I was told to say in a moment of inspiration

I’m not a poet
That’s too much responsibility
It’s a badge. It’s a flag. It’s a t-shirt.
A label, a moniker,
an excuse to avoid the void
to avoid the free-fall backwards trusting someone will catch me

I am not a poet
poets are what people call people
who give birth to surprise
something they couldn’t even control
like vomit, or sneezing, or giving birth

no, I’m not a poet
I don’t even know what that means
Sure, I can I define it
But that’s not what it is
It’s only something i point to
Like an isolated object in a photograph
Or a move i just saw in a dance that will never repeat

No, poetry is the sacred, mysterious, uncontrollable flow
That happens in spite of any and all of us

If I were to recite a poem,
and there was no one there to hear it,
or to call it a poem
or to call me a poet
what would I be then?

So here’s the paradox:
But as soon as you point to a river,
What you just pointed to is no longer there
So maybe a river is not the water at all
Maybe it’s just the groove that holds the current that never stops moving

And maybe a poem is a current
A poet, a river
And maybe I’m just a groove
A constantly eroding container

So all this leads me to believe that I am not a poet!

I’m like the water you can’t point to,
Because I no longer exist where you just pointed
And maybe the poem is not what I’m reading
Maybe the poem…is what I am
All that I am, all that you are

And if I can speak through a groove,
A container that is mute
and as dumb as a rock
then maybe… just maybe,
I am the poem
You are the poem
We are the letters and words
in an uncontrollable monologue, poly-log, multi-log, omni-log
just…meaningless…letters…and words…
that only find meaning
in relation to one another
and in order for a poem to be a poem
we have to be aware,
we have to listen,
we have to notice
image, texture, metaphor, re-la-tion
and that mysterious quality that makes a poem a poem

I, you, us, we, them, it, this, that, all, nothing
It’s all the poem

And as to the poet?

I have no idea.

 

©2007 chris spheeris