By Judy Dykstra-Brown
The day’s become unravelled. The night’s begun to fall,
yet I’ve not accomplished anything. I’ve done nothing at all
except cooking a curry and writing several drafts
of poems still uncompleted–they’re bobbing here like rafts
afloat upon my consciousness but have nowhere to go.
The words all came so quickly, but their gelling has come slow.
They want to group together in concrete communities,
but instead they’re fluttering like moths and landing where they please.
I’m a syllable collector, a hoarder of each word
without a purpose for them. It’s come to be absurd.
Verbs are piled up on shelves, adjectives under foot.
The gerunds hang like spiderwebs. I have no place to put
The adverbs and the articles. They leak out of my head.
When I nudge them into lumpy piles, they hide beneath the bed.
I’m going to have a housecleaning of consonants and vowels.
Collect them up in buckets and wipe them up with towels.
I’ll sort out all the lovely words. The ones I like, I’ll hoard,
then pile the others in tidy stacks and tie them up in cord.
I’ll keep the good ones by my desk to sort through when they’re needed.
Bad words go in the basement, unsorted and unheeded.
Then I’ll have a yard sale of unused words like “pickle”
and sell them in unsorted lots—a handful for a nickel.
Then perhaps I can make room for words more orderly
that come to me in sentences that make more sense to me.
My muse is hyperactive, I need to tame her down.
Instead of resting close to me, she runs all over town
collecting words at random— funky words like “phat”—
so when I really need her, I don’t know where she’s at.
Then when I am sleeping, she unloads word after word
until there’s no room left for them. It has become absurd.
They’re piling up around me. They’ve reached my nose and ear.
I cannot swim my way through them. I’m smothering, I fear.
That’s why I’m calling poets, every novelist or bard
to have a drive-by of my house and stop here at my yard.
Bring a bucket and a rake. Take all the words you please,
for now they’re raining down like leaves falling from my trees.
Just gather them in armloads. I won’t find it queer.
Better bring a wheelbarrow if you cannot park near.
You do not need to pay for them. Today they’re yours for free.
If you don’t help I fear that words will be the end of me!
Take what you wish. Please do not disturb occupant.
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