I am sitting here once again with nothing
but a blank page labelled POEMS
and I wonder why
All my poems are about writing poems.
The walls are blank. The cats have
stopped fighting. The child that cries
next door has gone to sleep. It is too dark
to see the birds outside. Beauty is scarce at this time.
The room implodes with the unbearable weight of poems.
The radiator screams and I am saved.
If it weren’t for the radiator and my mother’s handball games I would be the most boring poet on the planet.
I would sit at the bottom of The Ocean of Heavy Poems and write poem after poem about what it’s like to write poems. I would kill the fat poem fish with my poetry.
Today she won two games and I won one. Youth and lanky limbs are on my side but she is a much smarter player than me. One day I will be able to slow down and think, or she will be unable to speed up, of course; the cycle will complete.
Today her glasses fell off and she missed the ball and the gray hair of a monarch burst loose for all to see. I laughed and she laughed, we laughed and I imagined my parents’ funeral. I always imagine their funeral as one, a double feature, as if their life force is inextricably linked. At the funeral I will make lots of jokes and they will laugh and smash
their coffin to bits and leap and dance and cry out because their
son is just so dang funny.
A funeral is a good thing to write a poem about.
The other day I attended my first Zoom funeral.
My dead grandfather’s close friends fumbled with the camera and told stories about people they
killed in a war. It was very poetic.
The poetry of my grandfather’s Zoom funeral joins the poetry of the blank walls, my screaming
radiator, the cats that have stopped fighting, the child that cries next door and the birds that I
and the beauty is less scarce but it is still me vs. poetry and dignity vs. Zoom and
funerals vs. handball.
Liam Powers is a high school senior living in Brooklyn, NY. He is in the Writer’s institute program at Edward R Murrow High School. His muse right now is his eclectic neighborhood of Sunset Park. His default mode is practicing jazz guitar, piano or drums. He also loves wilderness canoeing, handball and every dog he’s ever met.
~this poem originally appeared in The Magnet, — a literary magazine at Edward R. Murrow High School~