No ideas but in things


“No ideas but in things.”
William Carlos Williams

All righty then
so say I want an idea
you’re saying I need to
bust open a thing
and find an idea inside
maybe a bunch of them
twisting like worms

and then what?
What the hell
am I supposed to say
about all these busted things
and all these twisty ideas?

Because right now
the place is littered with things I’ve busted
that don’t work anymore
and won’t even stand up
and the ideas
have got into the floorboards
and the bag of sugar
and the mattress.

I tell you
if this is poetry
it’s nothing like what I was led to believe
back when they gave us
that wheelbarrow poem to read.

So tell me
sage of Paterson
tell me
old witch
old doctor
tell me what’s the big idea
mister thing?


Mister Thing is of course William Carlos Williams of the universally-anthologized “The Red Wheelbarrow” and the muchparodied This Is Just to Say.”Among other poems, of course. And mine is sort of more a kind of an Archy and Mehitabel kind of poem, of course. But a cat may look at a king.

330px-william_carlos_williams_passport_photograph_1921   2449874700_c2137fc981_m_d

Images: Worms by Will Powell, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license; William Carlos Williams, passport photo (1921) from Wikipedia’s article on WCW (image is out of copyright in the United States); Red Wheelbarrow by Corey Harmon, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) license.

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