by: Genevieve Palmieri
For a long time, I was afraid of poetry.
It seemed to be saddled with a stigma of antiquity and structure. A brow so high, I dare not reach for it but with a scholarly hand. A form so stylized, it felt nearly impossible to me to keep the raw honesty of the thought. The stanzas. The punctuation. It all felt so on purpose – like dark-rimmed lens-less spectacles and jeans that are both skinny and saggy at the same time (Neither look is something that I can or have attempted to pull off.). I resisted its format. I felt lacking in the complete surrender that is required to truly pull it off. I classified any short bursts with a sprinkle of rhyme and cadence as “jump-offs” or pieces of writing that would somehow give birth to a bigger story, character or opus. It never did; they all felt incomplete. I was flipping through some pages: old notes, folded-up tracing paper writings and I started to dissect. The discovery: A poet—born through fire; however short her life may be…
i’m a tight-rope walker lingering,
precariously perched on the line;
limbs soaked in both strength
i am in the middle–
not the right side, not the wrong;
just barely keeping myself aloft,
long enough to stay above the fray.
one false move in any direction
and I tumble down, down, down,
revealing my high-up hideaway.
what keeps me up here?
dexterity and grace, fear of a tragic tumble
an abrupt, “how do you do” to the concrete below?
i’m not quite sure so, i go with flow.
i should pick a side–
stop taking myself so seriously?
maybe just watch TV and the rain
run down the window until three days
have passed and then wonder what
has become of me?
i thought there would be some
clarity up here…
a better view from the bird’s eye.
not making a move
has become my move.
now, i just sit idling above…looking
at what can go wrong.
silent hysteria embodied
in lithe limbs. beautiful.