Note: Two poems about poems. Both of these emerged from my work. 1) Learning to Fly, written around 1983, was an attempt to deliver a message--in poetry form--to my H.S. student-poets. I wanted them to understand that sometimes effusive praise is ultimately less useful to them as writers than is sincere help or advice. 2) I saw the sign that offered a Cheap Divorce as I drove through the Bronx on my way to visit the first-year teachers I now coach. Advice to fellow-poets: There are lots of poems taped to lamp posts in the Bronx. You just might not want to show them to your spouse. See alanwalowitz.com for more bad poetry and life advice.
Learning to Fly
So I've started out for God knows where
I guess I'll know when I get there
When all you love, like life, man,
kindness, even God, for God’s sake, finally
flees like birds from your brain,
and in insane desperation you reach far,
catch stars instead, hot-headed you,
and stick them, torn and battered,
like so many butterflies to your page.
Then you cry in the wilderness
and a hundred friends come running
to soothe your hunched and heavy back; so
what if some lone voice says, No,
it’s not quite, and frankly, it’s pretty,
but won’t fly right? How can I
convince you in your getting-ready-to-rise
it’s the one you must embrace; not those
who sing of their lofty plans to lift you
with their sticky glad hands
which so sweetly bind your wings?
Orignally appeared in Claudius Speaks
Call (718) 429-2020
the sign said, and
I copied on a scrap of paper
meaning to save for a poem
I might need later in life.
But my current wife
found it in my pants,
and maybe it seemed too good to be true,
for a hundred bucks a kit with instructions
and entree to the Divorce-Hot-Line
manned till the wee hours
when things always seem most dire.
And maybe she’s tired after all these years
of me finding one damn poem after another
as I drive all over town,
drinking coffee from cardboard cups
while she works her ass off
to keep bread in my mouth,
a pen in my hand,
and one eye on the girl next door,
I have to confess,
I might be taking a liking to.
originally appeared in Melancholy-Hyperbole
© 2018 Alan Walowitz
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -FF