Daily Archives: May 12, 2022


The poem I posted this morning, “Fox On The Run,” is the 107th new poem I’ve posted on the blog this year.

I started keeping track of how many new poems I’ve posted on this blog on January 1st, 2010. This poem is number 4,000 over that time period. There are probably another 3,000 or so in the archives I’ve kept, online and on paper, since 1974.

That works out to about .89 poems a day, which seems like a reasonable way of putting it as many aren’t even real poems according to some folks. (Don’t listen to them. Let’s round up and say it’s an average of a poem a day, shall we?)

I’ve always nicknamed this bookkeeping “the Meaningless Goal,” although it has a more specific meaning and purpose for me that I don’t share with others, and I won’t share here.

More to the point, it represents a way of looking at the Work I Do that I think does matter — which is that many of them, most of them in fact, are mediocre at best and do more for the Work as a whole than they do standing alone as indivdual poems. I just decided to make it all public and available, rather than hiding it away.

I have a manuscript of selected poems in progress now. It stands at about 50 poems I’d be glad to be remembered for when I die. I’m ok with that. The blog will remain as the rest of the iceberg I struck upon before sinking. I’m ok with that too.

I’m not done adding to the Work yet, but I thought it worth noting that as poets go, I’m only moderately talented but I put in work to the point of exhaustion sometimes.

I try not to fall into the trap of putting any individual poem’s perfection before its service to the Work overall. (In other words, I edit and polish but recall that there’s always another poem to be written.)

I’m 62 and I feel like I’m just now getting to be the poet I knew I could be.

Back to work.

Fox On The Run

I don’t believe in this lyric Muse
everyone talks about

Swear we’ve never
had a conversation

I’ve listened for her voice
in the corn by the river

Always ended those nights
running home frightened and alone

If believed in the Muse
I might have heard her

chattering in my ear
at some point

second hand news
of a second hand band

Instead I had to 
run from the silence

and here I am again
on that river bank 

panting and hungry
Full of nothing

but my voice wondering out loud
why this endlessly feels 

like I am built to be
alone — a poor boy bereft

surrounded by tall dead corn
and thoughts of plunging in

to this river that could take me
to hear what I do not believe exists

here or anywhere
but I’m willing to be convinced

I’m ready to listen
to any mythology now

having had the practice of decades
straining in silence

to hear my country 
speak to me

as if I were worthy
of nodding along to its voice

that instead sounds like nothing
as much as a snapping flag on the wind

that rattles through this dry dead corn
whenever I stop running away