Pretending to be a Poet

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I ran away to the hills,
armed to the teeth with nicotine and wine
a mammoth camera, eight books of poetry
and philosophy.

Walking into a silent acre,
I settled down at a desk by a picturesque window,
a burning lamplight
and a clingy heater.

I read poetry to inspire me,
watched movies that poets watch,
and poetically gasped at poetic references.

Smiling at the thudded carpets,
I used a match instead of a lighter,
practiced smoking like a poet,
or some lucky tortured artist
burdened by intelligence.

I took long warm baths
sipping wine,
but didn’t light candles because
that seemed a bit too much.

I then stood in front of a well-lit mirror,
naked in the cold with a stemmed bowl
of 40 dollar merlot and the overbearing presence
of the Surgeon General’s Warning.

Oh, the angst! Oh, the poesy!

At 6am I sat at my desk and took in the view.
The sun rose outside the frame,
and I fell asleep with a pencil tucked into my ear.
A poetically shaped cloud passed by
as I slept.

I clicked two pictures. You can see how
they’re edited to make them look poetic.

I read lots of poems, gasped at Rilke and Szymborska
and made notes with that poetic pencil.
I highlighted parts I found beautiful,
and even bookmarked the best ones.

When I got tired of my own thoughts, I opened
JSTOR and read another’s.
I read about Poe,
Hawthorne, Foucault, and
and imagined my mind
expanding like spilled poetic wine.

I walked outside, but only for poetically short periods,
because poets write and suffer
at carved wooden desks
with a burning lamplight,
blue-grey smoke,
red/gold alcohol
and existential crises.

By the end of my stay,
I wrote one poem
unpoetically inspired by the five days I spent
pretending to be a poet.

I then self-published it somewhere no-one reads,
ending with a long poetic sentence about
the satisfaction of a raincloud
after rain,
as though something had been accomplished

but I couldn’t remember what.

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