Perhaps poetry is just the capacity to have strange thoughts about familiar things. Perhaps it is what the gods are muttering in your ear right now, and you are only half paying attention. Perhaps poetry is what you stub your soul on in the dark, or stumble upon, like a lucky penny. Perhaps it’s an archer stalking you through the wilderness, with sleek arrows aimed at your heart.
Perhaps poetry is a collection of half truths that add up to a wordless realization. Perhaps it is what happens while the milk is boiling over and the train is running late. Perhaps poetry is what the wind throws to you when you throw caution to the wind. Perhaps it is a lighthouse keeper on an uninhabited island, a dozing shepherd, a tracker in the desert. Perhaps…
Perhaps poetry is a precise way of admitting ignorance. Perhaps it is what lies exactly halfway between talking and singing. Perhaps poetry is how the dreamworld exhales. Perhaps it is what the sun rises for, and what the moon expects from the night. Perhaps it is a heralding of the buried, the forgotten and ignored.
Perhaps poetry is words to all the songs sung just out of earshot, the color for which there is no crayon, the medicine for ills that will never find a cure. Perhaps poetry is a trickster, a temptress, a changeling, and charlatan. A snake charmer luring us out of our baskets. See how we lift off our coils, and sway with transfixed eyes?
Perhaps poetry is a stowaway on an embattled ship. Or an exiled prince, a prodigal daughter. Perhaps poetry is a jester, a jouster, a juggler. A latecomer, a lie-a-bed, a stuntman, a secret agent, a stranger at the door. Perhaps poetry is a fallen angel, a fabulous crone, a fettered slave whose song just burst out the door.