An Accidental Poetess

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

and trepidation.

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.




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