The plain truth is we are going to die. Here I am, a teeny spec surrounded by boundless space and time, arguing with the whole of creation, shaking my fist, sputtering, growing even eloquent at times, and then-poof! I am gone. Swept off once and for all. I think that is very, very funny.
The Prodigal Dark morning rain Meant to fall On a prison and a schoolyard, Falling meanwhile On my mother and her old dog. How slow she shuffles now In my father's Sunday shoes. The dog by her side Trembling with each step As he tries to keep up. I am on another corner waiting With my head shaved. My mind hops like a sparrow In the rain. I'm always watching and worrying about her. Everything is a magic ritual, A secret cinema, The way she appears in a window hours later To set the empty bowl And spoon on the table, And then exits So that the day may pass, And the night may fall Into the empty bowl, Empty room, empty house, While the rain keeps Knocking at the front door.
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Here in the United States, we speak with reverence of authentic experience. We write poems about our daddies taking us fishing and breaking our hearts by making us throw the little fish back into the river. We even tell the reader the kind of car we were driving, the year and the model, to give the impression that it's all true. It's because we think of ourselves as journalists of a kind. Like them, we'll go anywhere for a story. Don't believe a word of it. As any poet can tell you, one often sees better with eyes closed than with eyes wide open.
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The religion of the short poem, in every age and in every literature, has a single commandment: Less is always more. The short poem rejects preamble and summary. It's about all and everything, the metaphysics of a few words surrounded by much silence. ... The short poem is a match flaring up in a dark universe.
I do believe that a poem needs to remind the reader of his or her own humanity, of what they are, of what they're capable of. Awaken them, in a sense, to the fact that there's a world in front of their eyes, that they have a body, they're going to die, the sky is beautiful, it's fun to be in a grassy field when the sun is shining""those kinds of things.