Why Poetry Can Be Hard For Most People

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Why Poetry Can Be Hard For Most People
by Dorothea Lasky

Because speaking to the dead is not something you want to do
When you have other things to do in your day
Like take out the trash or use the vacuum
In the edge between the stove and cupboard
Because the rat is everywhere
Crawling around
Or more so walking
And it is doesn’t even notice you
It has its own intentions
And is searching for that perfect bag of potato chips like you once were
Because life is no more important than eating
Or fucking
Or talking someone into fucking
Or talking someone into something
Or sleeping calmly and soundly
And all you can hope for are the people who put that calm in you
Or let you go into it with dignity
Because poetry reminds you
That there is no dignity
In living
You just muddle through and for what
Jack Jack you wrote to him
You wrote to all of us
I wasn’t even born
You wrote to me
A ball of red and green shifting sparks
In my parents’ eye
You wrote to me and I just listened
I listened I listened I tell you
And I came back
No
Poetry is hard for most people
Because of sound

 

About This Poem
“I wrote ‘Why Poetry Can Be Hard For Most People’ after reading and teaching some of Jack Spicer’s letters to Lorca. I became bewitched by the idea that we are always speaking to the dead when we write poems, especially Spicer’s line, ‘You are dead and the dead are very patient.’ I think the communication between the dead and undead is so full of real emotion because of its patience. Poetry is patient, too.”–Dorothea Lasky

About Dorothea Lasky
Born on March 27, 1978, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dorothea Lasky received her B.A. from Washington University. She continued her studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she received her M.F.A. She has also earned a masters degree in arts and education from Harvard University and a PhD in creativity and education from the University of Pennsylvania. Lasky is the author of two books of poetry, AWE (Wave Books, 2007), and Black Life (Wave Books, 2010). She has also authored numerous chapbooks and pamphlets, most recently Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). She lives in New York.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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