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.

Antilamentation by Dorianne Laux

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read

to the end just to find out who killed the cook, not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,

in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication, not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,

the one you beat to the punch line, the door or the one
 who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones

that crimped your toes, don't regret those.

Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch, chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.

You were meant to inhale those smoky nights

over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed

coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You've walked those streets a thousand times and still

you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
 of
the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,

when the lights from the carnival rides

were the only stars you believed in, loving them

for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake, ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house

after the TV set has been pitched out the window.         Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied of expectation.
Relax. Don't bother remembering any of it. Let's stop here, under the lit sign on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

~ from The Book of Men. (W. W. Norton & Company, 2011)



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with the exception of 'poems of the week' where © copyright remains with the poets or their publishers