ER (March 02,1989 / New Jersey)

The Poem That N A M E D Itself

it crawls out
slithering snake
onto the paper
spread like the Bible
out before me
and I think:
what shall I write?
and it seeps out
bleeding black
onto the paper
words that form
from the hollow
places inside me
that sometimes
I can’t find
and it calls forth
emotions that
deserve the words
I can’t give
—except
I give them
my pen is sharp
and my hand aches
the words are
pouring out onto
the face
of blank paper
and I am staring
outside myself
not writing the
words but merely
a vessel for them
to contain themselves
when it is done
and the hollow places
are silent I ask:
what shall I
call it?
but it is already
N A M E D

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