I usually rediscover poetry when it’s quiet. I’m waking up with no music on, everyone else is still asleep.
I make myself a pot of coffee and tiptoe back to my room.
I browse through cummings and Neruda. I dare take on Bukowski.
When there is nothing else-when I am tired, sick, lonely, confused-poetry is the one thing that brings me back to myself. It is the truest form of me I can think of. I am more sonnet and vilanelle than I am short hair and brown eyes. I am more slam competition and free verse than I am my age or occupation. Sometimes I get lines during inconvenient times like when i’m on the phone with a customer, or holding onto the bar on a packed bus. I have poems I’ve been trying to write so long that i don’t think I’ll ever get them out.
Shortly after I moved to Chicago, I found an old book shop with a poetry section. There I sat on the floor, cross legged like a child, going though prints published decades before my time, reading the words like I was thirsty for water. No one bothered me except the owner-an old man behind the counter, who would occasionally peak around the corner to check in on me.
There is no logic in poetry, except done up by the heart. The more you think about it, the less sense it makes, but the more you feel it the more you understand. It skips beats, it hurtles you into the parts of yourself that you forgot. You can only love it, like most things, when your open. Sometimes it comes in belting out the lyrics of your favorite song at a show. Sometimes it happens in a rocking chair with a baby resting on your chest. Utilities can’t move you in the same way poetry can.
The point is mute to those who don’t understand, people who die miserable not knowing what they missed. They spend their whole lives living for other things, like money and people, but not a goddamn moment indulging in themselves. They look at people like me like we’re jesters-poor fools, lust and listless. I look at them like they’re tall walls that don’t guard forts, slow burnt out cigarettes and the impending dead.