Your Perfect Poem
I don’t normally leave a comment,
but I must insist on this exception:
your delicious poem was a hit
with my crew! I only made
a few small tweaks:
ingredient-wise, we like it a little less bland,
so I spiced it up with some adjectives
and I switched out the moth
conceit with a butterfly (monarch,
the only kind I buy) for a pop of color.
We are not that into folk cuisine,
so I made a reduction of the mountain
motif and swapped it with a cityscape.
And, for an entrée,
it was a bit delicate
for hearty appetites,
so added some stanzas
Didn’t have time to bake it as long
as you, given my demanding day job,
family responsibilities, and philanthropy
work. But we think it came out even better,
at least more to our taste.
Anyhoo, these blog poems are usually mediocre, but yours?
Sheer perfection! Could not be happier with this recipe.
Yum! I’ll be sharing.
What’s hers got that mine lacks? All made of words:
some born beauties, others enhanced; some fresh
and unschooled, ripe for exotic projections. (Check
out the mother, if there even was one, to see how she
will hold up over time.) Others reflect more experience,
greater technique: could there be hope for me yet?
I can’t argue with not your type, except to say, I am sure you concur,
no one wants to be a type: like Uncle Walt W, we contain multitudes.
Which leads where I did not want to go: being the kind of person,
or rather a person, kind being a type, although kindness is a part
of it, offering something valuable enough to deserve your attention,
that is to say, the necessity of mattering, matter, which, by the way,
can neither be created nor destroyed, which means that nothing
is wasted and you and me and we and they, all curators, wired
to receive the inevitability of transformation.
That said, let us agree that spilling the milk of regret,
let alone envy, over what is essentially an issue of fashion
or weather or logistics is to squander, yet we must not throw
good energy after bad and compound the crisis. So, please, strike
that unfortunate adverb “unfortunately…” from your correspondence
and perhaps your very vocabulary.
We are all good.
Julie Benesh has published stories, poems, and essays in Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Hobart, JMWW, Cleaver and many other places. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Creative Writing and the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant. Read more at juliebenesh.com.