I fear, some days, writing formal forms
Ruins my poetry, especially counting feet.
I have rhythm in my head, outside norms.
It’s rhythm from heart to pen. No beat
of marching feet or asphalt echoed rural walks.
Form framed, the pen obsesses on meter,
Ticktocktick metronomic like
the farting engine of a V1 bomb,
Caliper measured, edge matched, no caulk
To fudge ill fitted seams. No inverted or half steps.
All must hum; a factory balanced motor. We don’t talk
in such unforgiving feet, though one Master was adept
enough; his pen painting the best laid plans on metered stage;
the best laid words impossible to surpass. Can we accept
his platinum throated verse as perfect for his age,
but let us instead, seek new rhythms, jazzy
chord-wheeling, drunken, dancing outrage
Twisting, turning streetlight bright razzmatazz;
hair cascading, breasts bobbing, pulsating primal energy;
street born language and form embracing modern secret synergy?
Originally posted June, 2008. Do not take this as a true criticism of formal poetic form. Take it, instead, as the half-hearted complaint of one who fell out of practice and feels the aches of relearning.