Beat your ploughshares into pens

Employing a tactic I’m pretty sure I’ve picked up from the current presidential administration, I’ve decided to take a new approach to truth. Namely, I’m going to make it up. And make it up in such a way that justifies every decision I decide(r), and in such a way that makes me feel better about my life, and the enveloping society thereof.
So here goes: Everyone is reading.

And because everyone is reading, there is a high demand for poetry.
And because there is a high demand for poetry, once a week, possibly on Mondays, but certainly not limited to Mondays, I’m going to try really hard to post a Poem Worth Reading on this blog.

I know I know I know, this is supposed to be a blog about books, and probably shouldn’t contain any actual literature, unless it’s hyper-linked. Nevertheless, poems are great. They’re (often) short, and powerful, and sometimes they even rhyme, which makes you feel happy for reasons you probably can’t define very well. And people should read more of them. More, even, than they already are. Which is lots. Because everybody is reading. Obviously.

This week’s Poem Worth Reading is by Marie Vogel Gery. It’s part of a collection entitled Penchant – an anthology comprised of poems written by women from Northfield, Minnesota. Though I can’t quite put my finger on it, there is definitely a quality that unites the verses of these poets. "The eleven writers gathered here show an easy abundance," notes Scott King in his introduction. And I think that’s as close to a definition as one can get – a vague yet precise "easy abundance" – a lovely ability to meander, paired with the certain (Minnesotan) simplicity that underlies each stanza

Read it. Everyone else is.


My son and I battle weekly over whether he can sleepover there
or they can sleepover here, he has a lust for places
filled with smells other than my cooking
for rooms without his stepfather’s voice
even for places without his brother’s scent
still soft like his, like their cheeks when I kiss them goodnight

He longs for that future when the telephone is his
the refrigerator, the stove, the car, the front door
when he can have makko boards on all the walls
and Samurai swords in place of umbrellas

He longs for staying up all night at a party
where something wonderful happens and everyone knows
he is grown up and popular and everyone wants him to sleepover
be their best friend and they’ll live on pizza and Mountain Dew

He wants that freedom not to get lonesome
as the dark comes in through the house
things he doesn’t want to think about
slide down the chimney and hiss in the rooms
fear, like a cat, comes and sits near him
follows him into his room, plays under the bed

Each week by Wednesday we screech in tangled logic
magic and hope that he will sleepover there this time
or they will sleepover here for a whole weekend
and something wonderful will happen