Is that tree I see? Oh, nevermind, it’s only a toothbrush.

If I chose to compile my poetry into a book, I’m not sure how to polish it. How does anyone edit poetry? Really? I mean…to me, anyway…poems are not unlike paintings. Their medium is their words, the composition. So how do you edit that? Would you edit a DaVinci? Would you dare approach Monet and tell him his brush count was too high? Would you send a curt critical rejection of Starry Night to Van Gogh, and suggest serious revisioning?

So my question is, how exactly do I take these poems and revisit them productively? How should I rewrite lines that clearly define their place in my lifeline? Are they simply too personal to put into print?

Did anyone tell Cummings to stick to plumbing?

Here’s another older piece, just for the hell of it…

Constraint vs. Consequence

I am the silent vigilant,
Passing by placid street signs and stoplights,
Spying fire red trees so bright they illuminate the dark.
There is beauty and life pulsing from every edifice that graces my vision.

And I’m catching my breath before it flies out the window.

This is my home.
This is my city.
This is my… prison.

I am the passive cataclysm,
Observing my life from an outsider’s perspective,
Cutting myself from ties that bind with a dull dual-edged deception.
Treacherous infidelity painted across the flesh canvas of a hell-bound prodigal.

And I’m catching my death even as I fly out the window.

It was my home.
It was my city.
It remains my… prison.

©2005 J.W.


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