December 4, 2009

Were you ever in one of those high school English classes where you had to decipher poetry? The teacher stood before the class like some expert to explore what was on Whitman’s mind, or to decide how Shelley or Keats got their inspiration. Sigh. I doubt any of those analyses actually carried much of the truth.

I wonder if someone will sit down in a classroom someday with a book of random poetry in front of them and find one of mine. Although it’s not likely, I imagine they’d have fun deciding “what they author meant.” Here’s one they wouldn’t need much discussion about. Enjoy…


 White noise envelopes me; even the click of fingers on keyboard
is a subtle distraction.
Paper and ink offer solace, the quiet absorption of words into pulp
bear some semblance of permanence.
Slanted letters bare my emotions; curls and tilts offer glimpses
of my soul.

 Not so as I type. Each word carries the same weight;
identical soldiers stiff upright in uniforms of ink
disguised to make me look efficient, organized; saved page-perfect.
Oh for the haphazard of squiggles in the margins,
the indecisive mark-throughs of a think-pause.
For a misspell that didn’t correct itself, leaving a
legacy of imperfection that more honestly reflects the writer.

 Touting tolerance, they say, “polical correctness.”
Sterile, without emotion or conviction.
Perfection eliminating personal opinion.
Respect each one’s individuality, like letters on a page,
none allowed to be out of the lines; forbidden to
mention it if they are. Automatically adjusted for
a flawless fit.

I’m tired of it.

Jenny Evans


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