April is the cruelest month: It breeds dead poems out of frustrated writers.
This is the month that I, along with thousands of other lost souls, commit to writing a poem every day for a month. Not a good poem. Just a poem.
Today I am thinking of Walt Whitman. He was one of the first poets I ever fell in love with, when I was in my teens. I still have an old copy of Leaves of Grass, which was published during his life-time, and I treasure it. Once, I even stood on Brooklyn Bridge, and wanted to read Brooklyn Ferry to myself, but was stopped by the incessant traffic and madness. Bang goes my “Sophie’s Choice” moment!
One of the things I love about Whitman is his ability to put down simple observations, and let them turn themselves into poetry. Many of his lines, particularly in Song of Myself, were straight from his notebook. No editing; no tizzying.
So in honour of the great man, I have used this technique (if technique it be), and written a seemingly simple observation of a moment from only an hour ago.
I cut myself today
Taking out the rubbish
A small shard of glass
Pierced through the lilac-scented garbage bag
Left a coagulating blob on my wrist
Just a small slice
Like a half-hearted suicide.
I took note of it
Considered a bandage
Dismissed the idea
And continued cleaning up my mess