|"Balanced Rock" courtesy of Steven Ritts of Tempe, AZ|
SHARP-EDGED & HARD
"To have an audience, you must care about a reader: that statistical non-entity who must purchase your book, read your poems, and be moved enough to remember or even memorize a line or two. So much contemporary poetry seems written for the void, for no one at all— like spam email, it is merely sent out by publishers conditioned to shrug at the public’s indifference. The audience for our good poets is so small that it’s easy enough to supply it with the not-so-good, or even the self-evidently awful, since the mediocre and the majestic sell the same number of books." --from a review by Roy Nicosia at Contemporary Poetry Review
STONES IN THE WILDERNESS
One was already there, all rough
To feel and pitted, slashed
By a wedge of smoother rock that must
Have been upthrust and dashed
Into the first before the world
Was writ in hardened stones.
A second one I heaved onto
The first; I paid in groans
And sweat to lay it there but left
Where I, battered by word, raised arms
Against a burning face.