Not easy writing poetry

Naked in Dreams

Poetry is just too damned embarrassingly personal,
airing your own dirty laundry in public,
or writing unpleasant truths about your friends,
praying they won’t see themselves in the poem,
hoping they will see themselves in the poem,
trusting they won’t kill the messenger.

Reading a poem aloud is like
coming out of the closet to your parents,
like standing red-faced in the bathroom
with your pants around your ankles,
like loudly breaking wind in the middle
of your onstage plie’.
Poetry doesn’t always smell like roses.

The audience stares with blank gazes,
yelling, “Take it off.  Take it all off.”
looking for their money’s worth,
wanting to see the poet’s naked soul,
even when they know that souls are invisible,
even when the poet thought
he had it lit in flashing neon.

Poets will continue to be caught and embarrassed
putting their hands down unbuttoned blouses,
sneaking back in their windows late at night,
slipping the magazines under the mattresses,
trading quick kisses with other men’s wives,
walking naked in dreams while others are dressed.

But, poets go on with their singing—
eccentrics in their own home towns—
with stains on their shirtfronts
and their flies unzipped,
wishing their voices carried better,
wishing for the silver tongues of gods,
reading poems with pebbles still in their mouths.


Author: compasionatecritiques

Michael Eaton Bio Grew up in Littlefield TX and ran around with Waylon Jennings little brother. In high school lived and worked in a funeral home. First came to Austin in 1960 to attend UT. One year later enlisted in the Army. After serving came back to Austin and managed the Texas Theatre on the Drag. Was there when Whitman went on his killing spree from the Tower. Before completing school, decided to go to San Francisco State University. Moved there, and became a hippie living in a commune until graduation with a Masters in Creative Writing. Then came back to Austin and became partners in a stained glass studio, a business in which my eldest son is still involved in Houston. After two more children arrived, needed to make more money and became a new home salesman. Now retired. Recently have just completed conducting two poetry classes in assisted living centers for the elderly in Austin and Wimberley. I write poetry to stay sane in a sometimes insane world.

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