Pursuit: The Creative Process


I awoke this morning and
a poem began speaking
itself to me. Softly at first.
Of course, I ignored it, silly poem.

I-do-not-have-time-to-write-a-poem-on-work-mornings.
I have things to do, a schedule to keep.
I brewed my coffee with the
danged poem murmuring into my ears.

Coffee made, I escape to answer email.
Surely, the poem will not follow me.
It should get the hint and give up.
I have things to do.

While answering emails,
the poem became, yes, louder.
Louder! The words more distinct.
“Look,” I say to the air around me—

“I do not have time to jot you down.
You goofy poems take hours to write.
I have to go to work.
No, I will not take notes. Go away, you pesky poem. Scram.”

I answered emails with the poem getting louder
And even typing itself into my emails.
Luckily, I was able to delete those
crazy words it was making me type.

It was not even in sentences, now,
what if my emails were sent out like that?
The email would be senseless responses to
very serious questions. A narrow escape.

But then the poem resorted to
also becoming a holograph hanging
between my thoughts and the outside world
As if I invited it in that place.

I am bemused that this poem is so brazen.
Uninvited entity that it is.
But it simply does not stop.
Now I am getting annoyed.

I can see the verse, hear the words
demanding that I write it down.
I defy the poem—
Who does it think it is?

Commandeering my morning like this?
From the time I awoke, it has been haranguing me
I listened to a podcast while I was taking my walk
or at least I tried—

But the damned poem was louder!
It even blocked my view of the sunrise,
putting its ascenders and descenders all over.
In a font I do not particularly care for.

I tried to shower, and dry my hair,
get dressed because I have a schedule to keep.
But the poem was so insistent that
I was forced to stop and jot the damned thing down.

Are you happy now?
I am running late for work.
Look what you have gotten me into, you creepy poem.
I hate you.

Do you suppose I can just call in
and tell my manager
that I am running late
because a poem hounded me this morning?

That I was trying to get dressed and
all I could see or hear was this stupid poem?
Poem, do you know how crazy that sounds?
Do you have any idea what my boss will say to that one?

Oh, you will have me in the human resource
hall of shame, you bratty-ass poem.
I am going to write you in prose format
to punish you for this disruption.

How dare you. I will paragraph your sorry ass
into common courtesy, I will.
And justify your ragged lines,
finish your incomplete sentences.

Do I look like a poet? No, I do not.
So what are you bothering me for?
Did you get lost on your way to
a real poet? Get a GPS.

You poor-grammar poem,
you will be so sorry you came
to bother me this morning, I have things to do.
Oh, what was I doing when I began telling off a poem?

Okay, I wrote you down, just to stop you
from shouting even louder, do you hear?
Are you happy now? Now there is no way at all
I can get to work on time.

I call in with allergies.
That should cover us, poem.
So here I am spending
the morning with a rude poem.

Miffed, then you retreat for
exactly as long as I called you a blinking pest.
But I am going to wait you out, poem.
Yoo-hoo, poem, I am here waiting for you—

Hmm, I am beginning to miss hearing
you whisper and your holographic verse
all over my morning.
Are you there, poem?

I really have nothing better to do
this morning than
write down exactly what you tell me
I should write. Not really.

Oh, poem, I have written down
everything you asked me to write.
Are you going to return like now
and help me make sense of this?

I have a bunch of crazy scribbling on this
notepad in my bathroom, the birds have
not been fed and I called in with sinuses
or something like that, I forgot.

I am waiting for you, poem.
Are you aware that I’d be called a lunatic for
saying that a poem spoke itself
into my ears this morning?

And that I would be accused
of having hallucinations for
confessing that you displayed your verses
all over my reality this morning?

Can I coax you back by saying how much
I liked the way that you
read to me while I was having coffee
and answering emails?

Before I realized that I have nothing
better at all to do than
spend the morning with a poem?
Way back when I thought I had things to do?

Terre Spencer
June 2011

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