Saturday, November 17, 2007

Postcard poems

Sometimes it's lonely out there. Oh heck, most of the time it's lonely. Of late I've been involved in some "poetry postcard" projects that set things back in balance. I have a list of names -- bless the organizers of this thing, Lana Hechtman Ayers and Paul Nelson -- and every week I write a quick poem on the back of a postcard and send it off to the next name on the list. Postcard poems are intended to be written quickly, not pored over, not edited -- hey, what's outside your window right this minute? Write it down!

And every week I receive, from some poet I don't know, a lovely poem on a postcard. Postcards range from beautiful to whacky, from commercial to fully hand-fashioned with scissors and glue. Poems range from the silly to the sublime, and are sometimes a response to a picture or poem received. A great idea, and in this lonely world of poetry this effort guarantees that for every poem written there is at least one reader.

Here's one of mine, with that thought in mind, and the postcard I sent it off on was a computer print of a nebula with red and blue and black gases from a photo found at the NASA website.

Audience of One

Go fling yourself, blue nebula,
into the red and black spin of the universe.
Go on, nobody you know is watching.
Follow the laws of your own
physics, the chemical command
you've no choice in.
From the inside, you must feel
so woozy, gases going in all directions.
Galaxies away from you, I see
who you were, who I
might be, if I stare
hard enough
at your vast
and passing

Putting your poems in a chapbook and passing them out to strangers is often like that, I think. The effect is immense and tiny at the same time. Awesome.

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