A poem is a machine for making

sense, the way a dog
is a machine for barking.
And just so, there are side effects:
the mess that takes you by surprise
(the wondering when did that happen?)
the licking your face
when you’re trying to sleep
and unless you take precautions
always more poems.

The rest of the family - 146828640_463b12e9af_z


Image: the rest of the family by Paul Moody, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) license.

Inspired by the need to write a nine-line poem (because why not) in response to a NaPoWriMo prompt. And of course bearing in mind John Ciardi, who famously said that, in his opinion, “a poem is a machine for making choices.” But then, what isn’t? (In the same essay Ciardi said: “The poet who chooses cheaply or lazily is guilty of aesthetic acedia, and he is lost thereby.” Wikipedia helpfully defines acedia as “not caring or not being concerned with one’s position or condition in the world,” which to be honest sounds okay to me.)

9 thoughts on “A poem is a machine for making

  1. Acedia is presumably the same as the medieval sin of accidie, the state of sleepy non-caring inaction like that assumed by King Arthur in medieval literature. Until he was roused by an adventure, a marvel or a quest…

    Btw are you not mistaking a poem for a puppy here? An error easily made.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: This and other poems | Unassorted stories

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