For the writers…

I was cleaning out files (because as “Hoarders” tells me, 80% of filed documents are never touched again) and found these two poems.  They seemed relevant to our little group. ❤

I Write

by Naomi McEneely

Originally published in Yankee Magazine, January 2000

I write with renegade fat first-grade pencils

While the laundry waits.

Catching the words from my mind before they are

Folded away.


I write with remnants of red crayon

Rescued from the broom

As the dustpan beckons.


I write with pointless pencils

To keep sharp words

From cutting me inside.


I write on scraps

Recycled from third-grade

Homework to write words

Recycled in my mind.


I write to remember

Who I am and to

Record who I am becoming.


For the young who want to

By Marge Piercy

Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don’t have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.’s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else’s mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you’re certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.


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