To James Tate, 3rd draft

<Quote from “Dream On”
by James Tate, © 1995>

I could live without words,
without rhythm, without that
rushing electric impulse zapping
images in Times New Roman.

This is tangible, JT,
pricking stars behind my eyes,
streaming hot saltwater verse,
that sweet cayenne syrup
soothing my throat, reading
“The family dog howls all night,
lonely and starving for more poetry in his life.”

I could live without writing, I’m told.
I could live without sensing
this rough index finger callous
that pen joyfully etches on my bone,
live well without ink-dot letters
tap-dancing on the violin strings
humming my heart’s pulse.

Without that gut-churning butterfly
taking flight near poem’s end,
the concentration furrow between
my brows, the desire to roll right in
and swim in ink,
I could live-What life?
Continuously scrounging,
the wild boars of poetry keep
rooting up my seedlings of complacency.

written by Cyndi Gonzalez © 2008

Currently unavailable for purchase

I rewrote this poem probably five times before I finished my first draft. This is the third draft. This poem describes fairly accurately the way I react when I get it written down right and a poem really hits me; I was inspired by an article in a magazine written by James Tate. Feel free to let me know what you think of it, I enjoy constructive criticism!


poem, ink, boars

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