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Poetic License: Poem to Myself

By Staff | Apr 21, 2011

Poem to myself, watching myself trying to write a poem about myself watching myself trying to write a poem without myself watching myself…

Why don’t you start

By getting out of your own way,

By not stumbling over every foot.

Cut out the word play

And come on out to real play!

Stop ironing out every irony.

Stop posing paradoxes like full professors,

Eliminate the alliteration

And forget or fill in the ambiguities.

Stop looking, yes, stop looking

At literate, lyrical you

Trying to sing of love and loss.

(Eliminate the alliteration.)

Stop looking at yourself

Hunched over the keyboard

Like Glen Gould at the piano

Mumbling the Goldberg Variations.

Cut out the learned similes

And look for yourself

Under that pile of poet’s tricks

Where your real poetry lies.

Look, keep looking for the poet within

And rip reality from you

Like skin off an alligator,

Peel off those layers of pretension

And peel off those layers of allusion

And plunge deeper and deeper

Through epiphany and revelation,

Plummeting and plummeting

Into the lean raw poet within you

Waiting to emerge from the bubble of artifice

And let him burst and let him sing

With his own voice and ring

With his own lower case truth

To shout: This is who I am!

This is what I know!

This is what I see!

This is myself,

Not myself watching myself

trying to write a poem about myself,

But myself,


My self!