AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 109

Creative writers love to write about the process of writing creatively; after all, the act of creating with words is one of our deepest fascinations. That’s what this poem is about. It refers to lines or phrases that come to me when I have nothing to record them on but a smudged Taco Bell napkin. Sometimes, those out-of-the-blue phrases won’t play nicely with the images I want to use. I have to let them be shaggy and wild. I have to stop trying to make the poem neat. I was trying to capture that phenomenon with images of a stray dog and with rough-sounding words like kicked and rasp.

Barbaric Yap

This poem is a mangy cur

tormented by fleas;

when it scratches,

nits of language fall out.

This poem has the sly appetite

of a kicked stray;

when I offer it images,

it snaps, then wolfs them gone.

This poem sleeps wild,

smells of graphite and eraser,

prefers margins, fast food

napkins, torn newspaper.

This poem’s voice rasps

between yelp and yip.

It bays moonless skies;

‘zines and lit mags slam shut.

106