Saturday, October 30, 2010


My presence at the Writers' Fest poetry cabaret has inspired a smidge of nostalgia.

It made me miss being a poet. Did you know I was a poet? Probably not, if you have known me for 10 years or less. I am a closet poet; a poet without poems.

I wrote my last poem in February 2001.

I used to be the rez girl who left freshly printed copies of her poetry, still warm from the hum of the printer, under the doors of her fellow rez girls.

I used to be the girl who quoted Canadian poetry ("There is something down there and you want it told") in fabricated administrative blocks on her best friend's library card.

For the most part, I don't miss poetry; at least, not the way a smoker misses cigarettes, or the way an amputee misses a limb. More like a college student misses her high school boyfriend.

I miss poetry like a fair-weather friend: I have a similar feeling when I listen to Peter, Paul and Mary: man, I wish I played the guitar, I think.

Anyway, running the risk of utter embarrassment and ridicule, and relying on your indulgence as subscribers (can you say, "captive audience?"), I will impose on you, very infrequently, I promise, a poem. And if you don't like this, vote with your mouse. I track my stats, and if they go way down, I promise to stop posting crappy poetry.

Here's the thing: this is less about getting my back list out there, and more about actually scaring or inspiring me (or both) into a new composition.

"Do you want
            to be happy and write?"
- Michael Ondaatje, "Tin Roof"

Despair is        not writing the poem.
Say what you will about despair.
- Robert Kroetch, "Mile Zero"

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