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Manuscript - 1982

regrets of a sort...

I've written all these
just using the language
I know
even when it became
laboriously near to
listening to your
neighbor
over the
backyard fence.

I like the language:
the curl of the
word
the sensation
of a
tasty
almost never-used
beauty
a near-virgin
word.

there are many
of them.

at times
I read the dictionary
marveling
at the totality of
the untouched
backlog.

there's a force
there
properly used
would make
all I've said
almost
useless

yet
when I consider
the others
who have delved into this
backlog

the educated
the schooled
the
knowing?

it
doesn't appear to
work
or have they
chosen
the wrong
words?
for fashion?
for dictate?

and without the
luck of taste
and
style?

whatever,
the users
have discouraged me
with
vocabulary
as if it were
a shield
for pretenders

and so
for the moment
I am caught
with this
left with this

and since you
have come this far

so
are you.

let's hope
we can all
recover from
this.

    
Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way - 2002

regrets of a sort

I've written all these poems
just using the words
I know
even when my writing sometimes
became almost like
listening to your
neighbor
over the
backyard fence.

but I do like
the music of language:
the curl of the unexpected
word
the sensation
of a
tasty
almost never-used
near-virgin
word.

there are so many
of them.

at times
I read the dictionary
marveling
at the immensity of
that untouched
backlog.

there's a force
there
that properly exploited
would make
all I've written
seem
terribly simple.

yet
when I consider
the many poets
who have delved into this immense
backlog:

the educated
the cultured
the
all-knowing

it
doesn't appear to have
worked
very well
for them.
perhaps have they
chosen
the wrong
words?
for the wrong
reasons?

or without
taste?
or the need to
communicate?

whatever,
the users
of exotic words
have discouraged me
from trying to use my
vocabulary
as if it was
a shield
for pretenders.

and so
for the moment
for now
I am caught
with this
left with
this

and since you
have come with me
this
far

so
are you.