I am not a poet. I loved poetry up until I was about fifteen. I loved writing it and reading it. I was obsessed with all the female poets who’d gone insane. Then I stopped, for no good reason other than I wanted to write longer things with plots and characters.

Now I am suddenly faced with having to teach a section on poetry in an Intro to Creative Writing course. Panic. So I turn to Ron, fellow inkpot blogger and Hamline faculty who recommended In the Palm Of Your Hand by Steven Kowit and The Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux. Turns out I already had them on my bookshelf, likely purchasing them after one of his brilliant lectures years ago. I also have Rules For the Dance by Mary Oliver, along with one of my favorites because it describes poetry forms in such a clear and simple manner that even I, a nonpoet can understand: A Kick in The Head by Paul Janeczko.

In reading up on poetry, thinking about it, going through some of my long-forgotten favorite poets, I also conjured up from the depths of my brain two poems that I wrote when I was five. I wrote them on yellow lined notepaper in big, fat letters, but they only exist in memory now. These poems may explain my interest in mad poets, as well as why I no longer consider myself a poet—not because they are so terrible, but because I don’t think I could write anything nearly as profound today. However because it is a Sunday and the first day of August, I am willing to share: (remember I was five.)

My car died one day.
I couldn’t understand.
Why do things die?
Why oh why oh why?

Once when I was little I said,
“I won’t! I won’t! I’m dead!”
That’s it.
A one, a two, a three,
The end of me.