In the Margins
You think it helps when the house is quiet,
no one home, or else you’d have to blot
the sounds. Keep music low in the margins
of your attention, don’t have it merry,
or you’ll have to dance to it, and end
what you want to do with your pencil.
Some people don’t even use a pencil,
think that way of writing too quiet.
They tap on computer keys to end
the constant search for rhythm. Can you blot
what’s beating in iambs, the kind of merry
feet the poem dances on in the margins?
As for me, I think in meter, margins
hold notes for revision, and my pencil
makes comments on others’ poems, merry
or sober reflections for those quiet
times. I use my one deaf ear to blot
everything but the rhythm that won’t end.
that keeps my head in it. At poem’s end
you’ll see I’ve been dancing in the margins
all along, dipping, twirling. If I blot
out my heartbeat, what good is a pencil?
No! I’ll pay attention to the quiet
rhythms, let that music make merry.
It’s good to stay in your heartbeat, merry
thrub, ebb and flow, wait for the poem to end.
You can find poems in the spaces, quiet
places where silence speaks. In the margins
of each image, someone has written. Pencil
scratchings, or invisible words blotted.
Hold the paper up to the light, blotted
lemon juice words appear: magic! Marry
image now to verb, create with pencil
what might be fresh, lasting beyond the end
after you’ve slipped into the margins
of your own breath and into the quiet.
Why blot out music alive but quiet?
Why not write in your own margins, merry
to your own end? Dance on with your pencil!