The Coldest May Since God Knows When

And I sit here, hearing a muse snicker,
Informing me that I’ll never compose
A poem worth the time wasted on it.
I pace the floorboards and listen
To Bob Dylan; he can inspire
The most drab of us. I think of him
As flee bane growing wild in my garden,
Having that special something. I think
Of Hart Crane and his reckless love
Affairs; I think of John Berryman
And his madness; I think of Emily
Dickinson and her cognitive
Cloister; I think of Ovid, eating olives
And bread, exiled - for writing about love
And sex – so far from Sulmo, his home.
I’ve been at it for over twenty years
And still feel uncomfortable calling myself
A poet. I remember my father say the word
With disdain. He would have been
More proud if I’d had been a ditch
Digger. At least that would have been
Manly. Upon my first published poem,
He asked, “Are you going to be rich?
No? Then what good is it? ” He wanted
Me to be an engineer. Earn a true wage.
I sit here looking at the white blank
Upon my screen and can’t even
Record the brittle feeling of this morning
As the temperature drops toward freezing
And we’re only a few days from June. I
Can’t describe the shock of the morning glories
As they reach out of the dirt with their fang like
Leaves. I am stuck on words and images like
A paper jammed copy machine. I can’t
Hear what to say, for my muse has gone away
Into her own madness and delusions, leaving
Me here with an opportunity I’m bound to miss.

by Tim Gavin

Comments (2)

Maybe you underestimate yourself. As a reader, I was ready for a serious dedication at the end rather than a deprecatory one. Leave that to the British!
Tim, this is quite nice. I appreciate the literary references even though it looks a little bit like name-dropping, and I love the copy machine metaphor. And I like that you cover more than one topic in the piece - your father's disdain, the temperature, etc.