On “Pop” Poetry

Here is a thoughtful piece by Kazim Ali from the Poetry Foundation website for those of you who already are – or are considering – marketing your poems on social media.

On Instafame & Reading Rupi Kaur BY KAZIM ALI

To me, in a poem the writer reaches for the reader and the reader reaches back—in this moment of contact the unknowable or unthought is illuminated. There’s no such transaction yet in these or in other kinds of instant poems, or “pop poetry”—they are more texts for consumptions, they are a one-way ticket. None of that means they have no purpose or place.


To the Young Who Want to Die – Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks was a rare kind of poet — able to speak volumes, artfully, in common language. If we need poetry at all — and I, for one, do — this is the kind we need. We need poetry that reaches out; poetry that makes of itself an offering; poetry that fosters connection. This poem does that better than most.

Sit down. Inhale. Exhale.
The gun will wait. The lake will wait.
The tall gall in the small seductive vial
will wait will wait:
will wait a week: will wait through April.
You do not have to die this certain day.
Death will abide, will pamper your postponement.
I assure you death will wait. Death has
a lot of time. Death can
attend to you tomorrow. Or next week. Death is
just down the street; is most obliging neighbor;
can meet you any moment.

You need not die today.
Stay here–through pout or pain or peskyness.
Stay here. See what the news is going to be tomorrow.

Graves grow no green that you can use.
Remember, green’s your color. You are Spring.


Winter Walk

between the frozen field

and the sudden patch of birches

I love to hear a cardinal whistle

says my father

apropos of everything

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Romance #1

A Craig Patrick poem. #instapoem #instapoetry #poem #poetry #giantsofdiving

A post shared by Craig Patrick (@giantsofdiving) on

New App

Paul just shook his head
when I told him about
my plan for a new app
that uses inaudible low
frequency sound waves to
simulate human empathy.

Pop in your earbuds,
launch my new app on
your favorite device,
and let the feeling that
you’ve really been heard
just wash right over you.

But let us forget for now
about the healing power
of my incredible new app
and talk more about Paul
and his consistent failure
to champion my dreams.

originally published in Algebra of Owls


take any exit that leads
beyond the line of trees
that guards this highway
like occupation soldiers

past construction zones
and horn blast hysteria
speed trap surveillance
and brake light surprise

toward the low-lying sun
that marks the horizon
like a lidless eye
or better still – fly

for the sake of rising
above the power lines
and glide around awhile
until we’ve had our fill

of land and sea and sky
and find a place to land
in the paint-peeled rafters
of an ancient fading barn

or up on blocks, perhaps
in a dilapidated car
let’s sink down deep
into the sleek back seat

like a pair of nesting pigeons
considering the significance
of a universe that holds
the last two secret stars

originally published in Forth Magazine



Reading the existentialists has drawn me deeper into Rilke’s poetry of late.  I haven’t yet connected with him as readily as I did Kierkegaard or Nietzsche, but I’m well on my way and dedicated to the pursuit.  Here is one poem that took hold of me immediately.

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29