Covid-19, you have done a number on me as a poet!
For that I am cautiously grateful.
I don’t think I can ever get back to
My old pre-Covid relationship to poetry
Even if I wanted to,
Which I’m not sure I do.
The pandemic hasn’t made me a better poet,
However that might be defined.
I’m starting from scratch.
I’m like someone who was laid off
From a twenty-year stint as a machine operator.
I used to turn out poems that meant something.
Covid is anti-production or anti- meaning.
It cares nothing of output.
It cares nothing of poetry!
It’s mostly about shutting us down.
Laying us off.
I’m still a poet and I have to write.
But now I have a hard time understanding my own poetry.
Covid, see what you did?
You forced me to remember that poetry,
Though it is often used
To express feelings and thoughts and emotions
That can’t be expressed any other way,
In times of upheaval, it makes sense
That the poetic spirit will reflect and embody that upheaval,
Not just in subject and metaphor
But inside and out, from start to finish
Popping rivets, nodding to chaos,
blowing steam, brooding, fasting and falling apart.
Anything less would be less than honest.
Poetry gets bumped up to its survival mode of
I’m thinking of a scene in that
1996 epic sci-fi action thriller
Will Smith, as Captain Steve Hiller,
Is summoned to a
Top secret desert research facility
Where the government has been
Examining an alien space ship,
Analyzing it stem to stern and inside out
To try to figure out how it achieves
Weightless flight that they observed
Before it crash-landed.
They have it braced upright in a frame.
Will Smith borrows a sledge hammer
And knocks out the supports.
Instead of tipping over
The alien ship vibrates to life
And begins to float above the floor.
That’s what happened
During the pandemic
When my poetry crashed and burned…
For the rest of this new poem by resident poet GARY LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/the-remaking-of-a-poet/