Ithaca Blog

Friday, August 14, 2009

Poems On A Blog?

Poetry on an Ithaca blog is near-fetched, in our opinion (in George Carlin's phrase). It is a college town, after all, and college people write a lot of poetry. Mostly enrolled ones rather than alumni, no doubt, but let's change that.

When we were enrolled, we studied with Archie Ammons and Albert Goldbarth, two of the best. Studied is probably too strong a word; we wrote, and had fun.

Recently here we posted a piece about our friend John, "The Most Self-Sufficient Guy in the World." Last night we got up from bed mid-night and wrote the story as a poem. It follows, here.



A book
one of us had read, about
the bare one hundred things
one needs to live.

- Way too many, said John,
and we all agreed;
so it became a game to see
how many we would count.

Indoor plumbing, permanent press,
said two. My answer
(sure winner for spareness, I thought):
- A source of water, and seeds.

But I never got to say, as John
stopped it with his sum:
- A piece of metal, and
something to sharpen it with.

My answer, from someone who only
spells (like these words, here).
John's, from someone
who casts them.

John, who never
surprises, but amazes,
who always
does so much, requires so little,
gives so much, takes only
what he needs -
Love, I reckon
and all of us
to sharpen it with.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog
and J.C.

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