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Poetry Lunch Break & My Shameful Secret

Poetry Lunch Break & My Shameful Secret

Since posting about “Carp Poem” and my struggles with poetry, I’ve been making it a habit to read one poem a day, and I plan to do so at least until the end of the month.  (April is National Poetry Month).  To make this an easy goal to achieve, I subscribed to The Writer’s Almanac newsletter (thanks to a suggestions from my friend Meg), and this provides me with a daily poem, delivered straight to my inbox.  I usually read the poem during my lunch break, and so far they have all been short and fairly accessible. The Writer’s Almanac poems are a good jumping off point for me into the world of poetry, and I’m enjoying the other interesting historical/literary tidbits included in the newsletter.

Shh!  Don't tell my shameful secret!

Shh! Don’t tell my shameful secret!

It’s really high time I started reading more poetry.  I’m always rolling my eyes at so-called writers who don’t read books, and yet here’s my shameful secret:  for years, I’ve been writing poetry (and publishing some of it!), even though I rarely read poetry myself.  Disgusting!

In fact, here are a few of the poems I’ve published over the past few years:

“Sweet Tummy” for The Burlesque Press Variety Show

“Chicken Skin” for Pif Magazine

“The Collection of Princess Langwidere, or, The First Head” for Composite Magazine (pg 15)

“My Life” for Hoot

“How to Reach Me” for Stone Highway Review, June 2013 (pg 33)

“The End of Summer,”An Ode to Boys,” and “An Ode to Kurt Cobain” for The Burlesque Press Variety Show

Although some of theses poems are rather silly and unsophisticated, I don’t think any of them are terrible.  In fact, I sort of like most of them.  But I’m sure that the more poetry I read, the more my own poems will improve.  Check back with me in a few years, and perhaps I’ll have a whole new slew poems, and I’ll give them a better endorsement than, “I sort of like most of them.”

In closing, I will leave you with one of my favorite poems of all time.  It has been posted on my refrigerator for the past two years, and I have forced most of my friends and family to read it.  Now, I force you:


The Space Traveler’s Contented Moments
by Benjamin Grossberg
Think of the way your thumb
held in front of you can cover
the moon. Granted, humans have
big thumbs and a small moon, but
there you are: in a corn field,
celestial bodies disappearing
behind your digits. At some distance
above the earth (if you looked
down) your left foot would blot
North America. And farther up,
the planet become so small
you could stand on it only
as a ballerina, aloft on a toe.
A little farther, and you, human,
would become a space traveler.
So it is, sometimes, this ship
displaces the universe around it:
so far from all, the universe
recedes into a tangle –
a string of your Christmas lights
balled up in a box to stow
for next year. But lit.
And here’s the odd part –
it does that even though
I’m inside it, a speck somewhere
amid brightness and writhing
wire. These moments
are unstable, they puncture,
are frail to corrosion by
elements that would extend
your periodic table into
a lord’s banquet. But, human,
more than once I have wished
to take you up with me, to share
how what startles with immensity
can balance, cat’s eye,
on the palp of one finger

Happy Spring and Happy Poetry!

Happy Spring and Happy Poetry!


About evalangston

Eva Langston is a writer, among other things.

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