THE POEM TALKS BACK
What is the poem trying to say to me?
It is like listening to a child’s voice through a tin can
on a long string that runs through a time warp,
from another planet in another galaxy.
The poem whistles rudely, and coughs,
and says it believes there must be an end to this
fumbling around in my sleep, searching for
someone who has vanished or never been.
The poem is blind, and says it will continue
to ride its motorcycle down the middle of the street,
or what it believes is the middle of the street,
on into what it also believes is a kind of eternity.
Who can make anything clear in such a poem?
Desire becomes a word stretched out on a clothes line,
a skirt that is too short, a flannel shirt that has holes
in its elbows, but which refuses to be tossed out.
The poem accuses me of taking its voice
and making it speak, pretending that it speaks
somehow for itself. But I am asleep, dreaming.
The poem emerges like a newborn pup
out of the body in bed with me, wrapped
in cans and string, in a forgotten laughter,
in the universe as it first appeared to be
when it was just emerging from speech.
George Moore has published poetry in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, North American Review, Orion, Colorado Review, Nimrod, Meridian, Chelsea, Southern Poetry Review, Southwest Review, Chariton Review, and have been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize. He was a finalist for the 2007 Richard Snyder Memorial Prize, from Ashland Poetry Press, and earlier for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Poetry Award, and the Anhinga Poetry Prize. Moore's recent collections are Headhunting (Edwin Mellen, 2002), poems exploring the ritual practices of love and possession, and an e-Books, All Night Card Game in the Back Room of Time (Pulpbits, 2007).