I do not claim to write poems
I raise them.
Sometimes, I haul poems from rocky places,
like stubborn tubers from the dirt
until I see the glistening flesh.
If poems are seeded,
I need only water them
and hope they don’t turn out poisonous.
(I have already raised
a sprawling poison garden of poems.
that I lost control of years ago.)
Some poems are bricks that I lay, one by one
until a wall is built
And then I try to climb it.
There are poems that I rip like old paper
from walls I thought were strong
to expose other poems underneath.
Sometimes I want to paint over these.
Other poems I pull at, like feral threads
unraveling my imitations and the lies I tell myself
unraveling the comfort-truths I weave.
Some poems I raise from wells.
Dipping my bucket into depths I cannot measure,
giving and taking and giving,
until it gets at something
It plunges into water that I cannot see,
but I draw it anyway,
Bringing it up to daylight
that I can drink what’s there,
that it quenches me.
A poem is the divining rod that directs me
to bewitch it.
A poem is the germ that leavens the bread of my discontent
so that it may swell and become something I can cut open
I raise poems.
Each poem that I raise, in turn