raising poems

I do not claim to write poems
I raise them.

Sometimes, I haul poems from rocky places,
pulling them
like stubborn tubers from the dirt
peeling them
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
and hoping
that I can drink what’s there,
that it quenches me.

A poem is the divining rod that directs me
to water
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
even eat.

I raise poems.

Each poem that I raise, in turn
raises me.

-jules