Wednesday, December 5, 2007




We arrive,
one poet still munching on his lunch,
and wait for the workshop members to gather
on the folding chairs
that form a circle
on the fragrant green,
freshly-mown lawn,
near a splashing Florentine fountain,
under pruned white-oak trees
whose textured, tarnished-silver
branches are leafing out pippin-green.
Warmed by spring sun
and academic sponsoring,
we eight poets,
two married to each other,
one with a cookie crumb
now stuck in the corner of his mouth,
exchange names.

at the leader's behest
we pen
a workshop exercise,
a way of seeing differently,
I feel,
trying to write
in this crowd,
as if I'm attempting to
march to Bach
while listening to Stravinsky.

We read our efforts aloud,
sound tongue-tied.
The leader whispers,

"Please read it again."
Done, he murmurs

We write of hungering flesh,
sunlight silvering wet leaves,
kisses not given,
confronting abysses,
the incomprehensiblity of life.
The crumb on the poet's mouth has been
discovered by his tongue.
The leader
glances at his watch.
The fountain splashes.

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