This is the story of my lapse from poems for National Poetry Writing Month. One morning before even getting out of bed, I composed one or two poems (say, a poem with two parts). But when I went to post it later that day, I couldn't find it. Couldn't find it the next either, though I turned the house inside out. I despaired and gave up. Then this morning, my husband found the poem, which had slipped down behind the bedstand. I see it's not great, maybe should have stayed put under the bed, but it's got me back on the NaPoWrMo wagon. I figure this is like a diet. You can't just give up because you fell off the wagon. So here I go. This one is the kind of poem we were told once never to write, an ars poetica. A poem about writing poems. Sort of.

Ars Poetica after Adrienne Rich 

And this, beloved poets
is where our hearts, livers, and lights still
dwell unbeknownst and vital

Some ponder colors for a new wall
and the lemon oil gleam of their pecan table.
For us, it’s enough most mornings to have walls
of whatever color was left and if no table,
the counter or that cheap desktop she wrote of.

Our brother paints his walls
Mission White. He has always
been on a mission to cover up.
Our sister’s mission is distance.
Ours, to praise and bitch.

There’s, of course, poetry:
awful bridge rising over naked air

Or worse, over water, like the interminable bridge
of  the New York Throughway I will myself
to get on, get along, get over,
no drugs like an aunt takes to manage
the short span in New Hampshire. 

I practice the no pink elephants trick,
in this case, the no Oakland Bay Bridge
collapse of tangled trusses, no massive
crunches of cars. I replace them
with all those driving lyrics of the sixties

and seventies when I worked in a record store
and did not drive: move on down, move on down,
and even the Beatles version of “Roll Over Beethoven.”
Poetry like that. Gliding over the Hudson, splashing
down to tread frigid water

in a lifejacket of lines,
alone or with passengers,
one warbling, “Nearer My God To Thee,”
five Deadheads doing, “Day Tripper.”