Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"some rollercoasters run uphill" by John Reinhart

some rollercoasters run uphill
John Reinhart

I find myself
angry at a world demanding forms in triplicate
not my creative, imaginative best

which is why I fill in absurdities:
“alien” or “probably” in the white space where
I find myself

dying; breathing toxic news,
the static that stifles
my creative, imaginative best.

So I dig holes, jackhammer asphalt.
Looking for gold, sorting through dust, 
I find myself

still retching at the daily vomit ritual,
the pile up of paperwork –
not my creative, imaginative best.

I owe it to my children – to feed them,
feed their souls, so I dig deeper.
I find myself when I get to be
my creative, imaginative best.

Poet's Notes:  I've written previously about my love of villanelles. I don't keep the rhyme scheme of the original form; it's the repetition that I find so enticing. The challenge is to pick repeating lines that can be adapted multiple ways.

Perhaps it's ironic that I have written a poem in a form about frustrations over form. Oddly, I think all human beings yearn for form--"creatures of habit" we say. Yet, as in all things, too much form or too little form causes indigestion. I'm a form person, at least in the sense that I like lists, organization, clarity, and predictability. I've worked to balance this since I was old enough to consciously make such a choice. My earliest poems have more form; my later poems (in my collection invert the helix, for example) go so far as to have no form. Perhaps poems like this one represent balance.


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