It is almost midnight. She reads rules of Spanish grammar
in Dutch. This lets her fall almost asleep
until she wonders, what rhymes with ‘soporific’
and her mind’s off to the races. Ballads clash
with terse short-footed lines
in epics she remembers or might write
a dozen times again, each time forgetting
that she needs the sleep that’s purchased with the boredom
she can only find in studying grammar rules.
It takes forever to read a book of poetry
and twice that long to read a single poem.
Poems’ words are more than vehicles for stories.
They work – or don’t – on levels and dimensions
the poet may wish but they themselves decide.
I like to write in o.m.g. italics
with a font not seen since seventeen-sixteen.
It makes reviewers of my prose suppose
I’m original, or tetched, or must have been
in my merry minutes writing, running hose,
and shaping paragraphs to form a calyx
whose sense if any is sensory not flat
and factual. I am not ‘into’ that,
preferring quote-mark irony to ironing
and to too-perfect rhyme. I end up whining.