I tore off a few poems that I kept hidden at the back of a binder, which I carried with me always (in the loosest sense these could be called poems. In that they were short and had, if not rhyme or meter, at least emotional intent). I hugged them to my person, believing that they were made of my own dark matter. But when I went back and reread them, they were gibberish. Soggy and wrought.
I've shied away from writing poetry since. I doubt, with no measure of false humility, that I am clever enough for it.
Still, I have days I wish hard that I could write the stuff. That the thoughts bonking around my head could find their best exit inside a poem if only I could provide one. Not the thoughts so much as the feelings. That's the bit that clicked for me with Autumn. How the image of swirling leaves could make you press a hand to your throat, how the idea of approaching cold catches you short and makes you nod to yourself even though you've always told yourself that normal people don't stand around nodding to themselves about death.
I should be able to write poetry, don't you think? I'm a writer. I love sassy nouns, the back talking adjective, verbs that break off in the middle. Jukebox words that slide over one another, make you think there will be a crack up, a crash of meaning that veers off course just in time. Playing chicken on a too careful road. Those are the kinds of words I would use in any poem I might write. I think so. I'd make a bed for them, pick out their clothes for the next day, kiss them goodnight, and turn out the light. I'd let them hide out there in the darkness so like the unlit corner of a high school binder. And I'd wait a spell before checking on them again. To see what time might bend them into.
I bid you good writing.