Monday, April 09, 2012


Poems are
not said

they can be anything
from shopping lists
to legal briefs

but it's what not there
that's there

nothing to do w/

always something

words work best
when they know they can't

nothing changes
but vocabulary.

--David Meltzer, from the 2011 book "When I Was a Poet" Number Sixty in The Pocket Poets Series of City Lights Books

Poetry writing tempts people to write like they aren't usual people or that the world they live in isn't quite the advantaged and disadvantaged place the rest of us live in.

Beat poets stay in the overbuilt world of sometimes shimmering beauty, beauty sometimes shimmering from the built and sometime from the natural, and they write poetry that is real poetry and unsnooty.

David Meltzer is a Beat poet. "When I Was a Poet" shimmers, is brief, adds valuable depth to alive now.