Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

Confession by Stephen Dobyns

The Nazi within me thinks it's time to take charge.
The world's a mess; people are crazy.
The Nazi within me wants windows shut tight,
new locks put on the doors.  There's too much
fresh air, too much coming and going.
The Nazi within me wants more respect.  He wants
the only TV camera, the only bank account,
the only really pretty girl.  The Nazi within me
wants to be boss of traffic and traffic lights.
People drive too fast; they take up too much space.
The Nazi within me thinks people are getting away
with murder.  He wants to be the boss of murder.
He wants to be boss of bananas, boss of white bread.
The Nazi within me wants uniforms for everyone.
He wants them to wash their hands, sit up straight,
pay strict attention.  He wants to make certain
they say yes when he says yes, no when he says no.
He imagines everybody sitting in straight chairs,
people all over the world sitting in straight chairs.
Are you ready? he asks them.  They say they are ready.
Are you ready to be happy? he asks them.  They say
they are ready to be happy.  The Nazi within me wants
everyone to be happy but not too happy and definitely
not noisy.  No singing, no dancing, no carrying on.

~ from Velocities (Viking Penguin Books, 1994)


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