Poem Hunter
The Coldest May Since God Knows When
TG (March 18,1963 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

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.

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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.