Guillermo Delgado's Untitled #11, 2009, mixed media on wood, 10'' x 10.25''
What Can Happen
Every poet writes a poem
about writing a poem: the first
poem, weak in the knees
and suffering acne; the last poem,
confident in voice but unprepared
to acknowledge it will have no successors.
There’s the poem about why
it is not a poem (which is usually
the case) and the poem of longing
for a poem, the one of looking
for a poem, the one of discovering
the poem in some unexpected
lair: on a flowchart,
in a possum’s tail spoken by
someone named Ashley.
The poet might claim the poem
has written itself, or sprung
full-worded onto the page like Athena
from the head of Zeus (never mind
the woman he must have swallowed).
A young poet writes of his honeymoon
with the poem, how together
they will sail to the lost continent
of love. A survivor poet
knows that boat’s going down,
listens, marvels at how
words can take wing
from a concocted thing,
circle free, imagine their way
to another fiction.