The Last Poem I’ll Ever Write

Echoes by Jesse Lane

The Last Poem I’ll Ever Write

To write a poem was the task
I set out to achieve.
Surely that’s not much to ask,
An easy art in which to bask –
With so few words upon the page,
I’ll strut upon their verbal stage
With fiery passion, gothic rage,
And earn myself a healthy wage.

But as I try to flow my words
I suddenly recall
That prior to my boast absurd,
’Twas but with prose my voice was heard.
So now I’m fighting to define
A rhythm with no sense of time.
I jar the meter, strain the rhyme,
And hammer into place the line.

With plaintext, now, there is no squeeze,
Just liberty unbound –
No form to keep, or rhyme appease,
I use what words I bloody please.
And yet for all it has to tell
Such prose so slowly works its spell –
But poems rouse and poems quell
So swift, so much, and so damned well.

And so shall I, if my lines loose
Can all join up in rhyme –
Too oft, alas, I’m chasing goose
When searching for a couplet’s deuce.
Some perfect words, oh yes !  Oh no !
The rhymes are close, they almost go –
If we can just pronounce them so ?
They almost work, will have to do.

In fact, I see I’m not alone,
For even pros get stumped.
For even poets have been known
To clank a line they cannot hone.
No more these pointless rhymes unwise !
No more these hamstrung verbal ties !
For when it works, it sings and flies,
And when it stalls, it chokes and dies.

Of course, I need not rhyme my song,
’Tis only one approach.
But to me it seems quite wrong
Rejecting this tradition long
While this art’s held in modish grip
Abhorring letting couplets slip.
I want a rhyme that darts and skips,
Not prose that’s hacked-up into strips.

And even then, I’ve had to cheat,
My second lines hang loose.
My own command I cannot meet,
Such irony is harsh defeat.
I pad-out lines with rhymes so fake
And tenuous for rhyming’s sake,
While half the points I try to make
Won’t fit this rigid frame,
and break.

So this quaint need I hold so dear
For ‘proper’ poetry
Will thwart me now from making clear
That which I wish the world to hear –
My feeble efforts howl with pain,
My content swamped in verbal strain,
My labours wasted, all in vain !

I shan’t be trying this again.

3 thoughts on “The Last Poem I’ll Ever Write

  1. Oh.. but I hope you do!
    My favorite part: ‘For when it works, it sings and flies,
    And when it stalls, it chokes and dies.’
    Brilliantly done!


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