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Before Definition

I loved to twirl my wash cloth,
make it slow-dance

across deep, soapy water, content in the
claw-footed tub, my mother singing.
Life was simple, before definition.

first published in Mastodon Dentist

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“Show us your Christ, Lady, after this our exile, yes, but show Him to us also now, show Him to us here, while we are still wanderers.”

Thomas Merton. The Seven Storey Mountain. New York: Harcourt, Brace: 130.

If you search my blog, you will find that I often post poems that I have posted previously. It’s not that I don’t keep a record of which poems I’ve posted or that I can’t locate them on my own blog. I do keep a record, and I can find them using “search.” So can anyone else. The reasons are different.

First, I am not vain enough to believe that every reader reads every entry on my blog in its entirety. So even if I did post a poem, some readers did not read it. Blame it on time, mood, whatever. Mine or the reader’s. There are entries that a given reader has not read.

Secondly, I believe I have readers who were not reading this blog at the time I first posted a particular poem. I constantly revise my poems – well, not all of them – in search of a better way to formulate the image I’m after. Also, I believe that a poem that is worth reading once is worth reading again. I seldom write poems for the sole purpose of having something to post. I usually write hoping for something to publish. I know there’s a huge debate concerning posting vs. publishing, but I’m not entering that discussion right now. I’m talking about reposting poems to my blog that were previously published elsewhere.

And as a final resaon for reposting, I post here what matters to me. And if you don’t know what that is by now . . . well, welcome to my blog! I often get the fewest comment on poems, which are a huge part of my life and the main reason I started this blog, but I will continue to post and repost my poems. I’m a poet.

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