Tuesday, February 2, 2010


* I should have said this earlier, before I began this monthlong exercise, before I set my first poem before you, but here's the thing: I'm enthusiastic about this project, yet I'm more than a little scared that it will be too hard or that sometime in the middle of it, I'll get a bad case of nerves and forget my lines and the gong will sound and that will be the end of my experiment. But I'm going to try to write a poem a day for the month of February. Some of them may be okay and some of them may be terrible. None of them will be completely finished because I might not know much, but I do know that good poetry requires tireless revision and so what I write here is only the beginning of my process. It is only the first place I will write these lines, what happens to them next remains to be seen. But I am giving myself permission to write poetry, to try to write every day, and most of all to have fun.

And so begins Day 2.

The Largest Organ

My skin is just a layer
that protects organs and bones,
mere millimeters thick.
An insulator.
A regulator.
A communicator.
One glance at my ectodermal tissue
and even a stranger can easily tell
if I am well or sick,
afraid or embarrassed,
ugly or attractive.
But am I comfortable in this skin?
No one else may be able to see it
but the scar tissue is ropey and thick,
a furious red,
discolored and depigmented.
It wasn't a pot of scalding water
or a fire igniting the house around me,
but a slow burn
moving inch by inch
blanketing thousands of nerve endings
until I could feel

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