Note: the topic suggestions for the poem appear in boldface.
Suppose he is fresh out of ideas,
so he turns to facebook for suggestions
from friends, near and far, high and low.
It’s like fishing. He waits for a little while.
Finally, he gets a bite: the weather.
The poet writes: It’s been shitty.
Another bite: soup.
Chicken curry from Freddie’s–
it’s what’s for dinner, and leftover
whole 30 baked potato taco,
which sounds really good, sound-wise.
He keeps getting bites and the project
becomes how to work every single suggestion
into the poem. This is unsustainable.
But he tries anyway.
Tonight, having sworn off anything alcoholic,
he’s drinking the effervescent mango sparkle,
and he’s hidden the smart phone away so as
not to be distracted by a second device
while he’s writing a poem, a poem
which includes an imbedded haiku
I put off today’s
poem until the last minute;
tomorrow sounds good.
Is the word poem, he wonders,
a one or two syllable word?
He knows people, even some poets,
who say “pom.” He’s never liked that.
Someone suggests Sean Hannity,
and he can’t. I just can’t, he says. His mother
always said, if you can’t say anything nice . . .
I can’t, he says again.
Cleanse the palate, he says out loud.
A cleanser for the palate. Sparkle water.
Looking for a big finish, he notices
some suggestions are too good for
a single throw-away line:
Naming the lost.
He could do that all day
and maybe he will, but not
in this poem,
this suburban poem
written in a 1930’s English Tudor
surrounded by new construction.
He could tell you.
He could name the lost
just by looking around.