POETS TURNED NOVELISTS: finding your groove in both


I have been writing poetry since I was very young, as most poet’s have. I remember the first “real” poem I wrote when I was 6: I Like Cats. Yes, and I did, too. It rhymed, had meter and everything. I’l give you a taste: I like cats, in a tree or on the ground, I like cats, they’re all around…you get the idea. Well, after that bit of genius, I was hooked. 🙂

I have written thousands of poems since that fateful day, many have been published, most have not even left the safe little confines of my desktop or seen the light of day.  Poetry has never been hard for me, it sort of just falls through my old fingertips and onto the page. But after trying my hand at fiction, that first one was rough!

There is a groove to both poetry and fiction, not as easy to find after immersing one’s self in either or for any period, but well worth the efforts. The second poem, written the next day was much better than that first one. Kinda like a good belch, the first poem had to clear out to make room for the second poem (the cherry pie).

How do you do it, poet/novelist hybrids? And do you write your novels poetically, or keep the two separate. For me, I cannot separate completely. Always, no matter what, the words come with a poet’s flavor.

Always be a poet, even in prose.” So says Charles Baudelaire. I tend to agree.

Wanna read my first poem in a good long while? But please, do be gentle, my groove is not all there yet.


 After reading Eliot on a rainy day

Through you I become myself, breath
through the air of my discontent
panting lungs

dogging the heels of the lonely;

your face reciprocating time unspent, the way
sunlight borrows from wet abalone,
the way genius borrows from madness,
and sweat spurs from another’s flame.

Poet, how did you become wound inside
of my hair—
to a point impossible to distinguish
your words from my own breath? I am
more inside
of your simulacrum of clothes
than I am
living inside the culmination of the whole
dying world;
and less (so much less) without you,

than a man who knows only desire
without desire’s desperate face.

Green and rain outside today, leaves
leaving nothing between the lines
but rain. Without you, Poet, and your host
of silent words—
spider of divine skies; recluse
and ill-fitted muse—
there are only days upon days upon days.

Without the coitus of words mating words
baring more words, where do the stars go?

And what, I ask, are days without
the drive to couple
with the essence of the unseen—
juices pouring between
the open legs of the universe—
if not a prolonged death?

Time means nothing to the movements of the heart.

But you, Poet—who shakes a thousand whispers from the yew—are
the spaces between I, and everything else.

Without you: there is no poetry
and no amount of broken hearts splattered against broken trees,
moonlight falling gently over fields of virgin snow,
or stars looking down into their captor’s eyes, as if they were their greatest lover,
could ever make me as beautiful
as how you write love into being;

without you, Poet, beauty is dead—

long live this infinite death!

© Kristin Reynolds 9 19 12


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