Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Poems in November

There's a benefit going on this month for the Center for New Americans, in Northampton, MA: write a poem a day. Get people to underwrite your poem a day. Donate to help literacy.

Poetry isn't something I write. Not even in the deepest darkest recesses of an unlit New England night by flashlight under the duvet. How does one know when a poem is done? A story finishes (even if others don't like the ending). But a poem . . . every comma matters. Every verb matters. Is that the definite article where the indefinite article would be more appropriate? How does one avoid the maudlin, the confessional? What's up with the line breaks?

How could I subject a reading public to a poem a day -- given its unfinished and maudlin appearance -- in the deep dark recesses of November? Even to benefit something so lovely as literacy? It's like exposing a marsupial mammal to the ravages of the environment when it should be warm and snug in a pouch.

Here's the compromise. I'll write a check to the Center. You can write a check to the Center. Mail it to them. I'll write poems, given the above caveats and disclaimers. They'll be compiled and uploaded here to a pdf or something at the end of the month. Maybe. Probably.