For the Love of Poetry

Poetry

the word slips off my tongue

and sounds like the rushing music

of a river

or maybe a crick

that gurgles

and laughs.

 

Could it be an ocean

which beats with a tenacious monotony

on shores with fine gold sand?

 

What are you?

 

What is this buzzing sensation

that starts in my chest,

then rises to my throat,

making my whole body quiver with excitement

but not just excitement-

also a need, a longing

that seems to come from the soles of my feet

and rise up through my fingertips until...

they're glowing.

 

A few hours ago

I wrote in the notes on my phone-

If somebody gave me a pen right now

I could captivate a moment,

embody a feeling

before they are gone

(and yes, a feeling,

which seems like a backwards firework,

sparks whizzing to meet haphazardly

in the center is a they).

 

I watched them-

fireworks

could not distinguish if they were fireworks of feelings

or both.

 

Can feelings be felt outside of the body?

Are feelings within the body?

 

Because

that is how feeling is

whizzing brightly towards you

sure that they will hit at any moment

that these must be fiery meteors

that they will crash into you with such...

 

But with such what?

In a world filled with so much whizzing and popping,

exponential popcorn bursting from one kernel

yells, whoops, cries of-was that pain?

shit, fuck, what the bloody hell Harry?

 

I can't understand

I can't comprehend

I'm left floating,

suspended

caught in a fragile sea of jello

caught leaning between conscious

and subconscious

not knowing which is below or above me

in a sort of in-between space

between physical and psychological reality.

 

I've never been more obstructed from the physical world

yet sure of who I am.

 

Feelings, ideas, thoughts

pummel toward you

illuminating the air around you

until you feel it too

burning pleasantly beneath your skin.

 

They are rushing, speeding

flying forward with inertia

that cannot be stopped

and you are sure

that this idea could change the world

somehow fix the world.

 

But then

as suddenly as a clock reaction

with sulfuric acid and sodium thiosulfate

except almost in reverse

it is gone,

leaving but a faint outline

of the lines where it burst

leaving you puzzled, guessing.

 

But wose yet

is the darkness that swoops in next

almost fear

but with a hint of hysteria.

 

If only I had had a pen...

 

If I had had a pen, would I understand?

As Orwell questions in 1984,

if we lose the words to express something,

do we lose the idea?

 

Where do thoughts go when they dissipate into darkness,

evaporate like the fireworks?

Do they vanish like photos

as they rush towards that small speck of light

tunneling down until they disappear altogether?

 

Because, I am a muggle

and I don't have wildfire whiz-bang fireworks...

 

This idea, this firework

will not linger in front of my eyes forever

remain etched on my retinas

until I can comprehend it.

 

Without a pen

I can't understand.

 

Could J.K. Rowling understand

what that feeling meant

the buzz, the light that must have burned

in her chest as in mine

before she started writing?

 

Where would I be

without Harry Potter?

 

Would Harry Potter exist if he had

only existed in that feeling?

And lastly, does Harry Potter exist?

Can a feeling, a simple burning sensation in your soul

turn into something physical?

 

Is poetry physical?

 

I'm not sure that I can

answer any of those questions

and frankly

I'm not sure if anyone can.

 

But poetry brings us closer.

 

If we scramble, jump, sniff out a trail

or discover one

then pounce,

like a cat does in long yellow, swaying grass

we might catch something

a grasshopper perhaps

that kicks against your hands

with a tiny foot that strikes your clasped fingers impatiently

desperately spitting brown substance all over your palm

that smells slightly of soy sauce

this smell that is so intimate

but yet is so far away,

so long ago

that I can barely remember.

 

Because

thoughts don't want to be caught

they wish to trickle

slithering snake-like

in hundreds of furrows of water

from our hands

right as we bring them to our faces to drink.

 

Our mouths are left dry,

our souls thirsty

for something they are missing

although they don't know what.

 

But,

I have caught grasshoppers before

put them in a jar

and these ideas, these thoughts, these feelings

have transformed,

sometimes instantly, sometimes gradually

into fireflies.

 

They are part of us

yet are physically outside of us.

 

The process of poetry involves

finding these grasshoppers, watching them fizzle like fireworks,

sometimes working backwards

until they become fireflies,

which is poetry.

 

They may fly away from us in the darkness,

the ideas may leave us still

but now they are written, claimed

and we can always identify

their warm glow from the darkness surrounding us.

 

They are ours now.

 

And poetry

short, concise,

sweet like a watermelon popsicle

on the 4th of July

is much more effective

at capturing ideas, creating these fireflies

than prose,

less picky,

less particular.

 

It is freeing

like running by the ocean in a dream.

 

It is thundering, roaring, but simple

and pays no heed to what others think it should be.

 

Poetry transcends prose

because of its reliance on ideas

it's quick mining and chiseling down

to what is important.

 

Poetry allows me to find myself

understand a feeling

uncover a new idea

and think in a new way.

 

It is like discovering your soul for the first time.

 

 

 

This poem is about: 
Me
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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