02 April 2009

National Poetry Month by Elaine Equi

When a poem
speaks by itself,
it has a spark

and can be considered
part of a divine

Sometimes the poem weaves
like a basket around
two loaves of yellow bread.

"Break off a piece
of this April with its
raisin nipples," it says.

"And chew them slowly
under your pillow.
You belong in bed with me."

On the other hand,
when a poem speaks
in the voice of a celebrity

it is called television
or a movie.
"There is nothing to see,"

say Robert De Niro,
though his poem bleeds
all along the edges

like a puddle
crudely outlined
with yellow tape

at the crime scene
of spring.
"It is an old poem," he adds.

"And besides,
I was very young
when I made it."


Elaine Equi is an American poet.

Equi was born in Oak Park, Illinois and grew up in the Chicago area.  Since 1988 she has lived in New York with her husband, poet Jerome Sala.  She currently teaches creative writing in the Master of Fine Arts programs at City College of New York and The New School.  Widely published, her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and numerous volumes of The Best American Poetry.  In April 2007 Coffee House Press published Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems.  Also in 2007 she edited a special section for Jacket Magazine: The Holiday Album: Greeting Card Poems for All Occasions.

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