Poets’ Corner: Writing


We tell people we are writing like people might tell us they are breathing or not with their backs to the wind but somehow it makes a difference to say it

because so often we are afraid we will not be we have not been it feels like death death in life death of the soul death of what makes you you me me her

her and so on we wake up holding one gold nugget from the night’s mining panning one gold nugget we are sure not to lose but by brushed teeth a pee

not to mention coffee it’s as far from our hand as last night’s covers just gone where there is no where before it was weighed it sunk back in the ooze

of the stream where nothing weighs nothing the effort to hold it weakens dies we know there will be gold to mine in the day light across the mountain

of the night where we know all the higher karat stuff is but we can’t hold on

we get anemic flecks of the day the stuff that tells you what you already

know even if it is the three levels of hell heaven purgatory or madness of Lear or quandary of MacBeth or revenge of Hamlet and Othello or the wars

of Tolstoy the agony of Roskolnikov the political voodoo of Swift the death of a spider what are their dreams where are the bars of gold writers smelt

in the night where is time future past present all deeds and misdeeds instincts cravings multiple yearnings flight and burials births and murders

where do they go why must everyone wake up with pen and dross bend to erect their words as civilized (read not human) objects for our endless

critical (read not human) minds so we announce that we are just able to go again trying in vain to write as though we are tamed humans having by the

time we get to our desk shucked off every bit of what would be startlingly original but impossible now to translate or decipher by reader or writer.

Fan Ogilvie, West Tisbury’s second poet laureate, started a poetry contest for high schoolers, Promising Young Poets, a program in poetry and playwriting in the MV House of Correction, and a continuing Summer Festival in Poetry featuring readings by national and local poets.