Ars Poetica

In high school I wrote bad poetry, lots and lots of bad poetry. The trend continued through my early years in college. I was lonely, so very lonely, and poetry made me feel better. And then I did a silly thing in 1987, I signed up for a poetry class.At that point I’d been writing — “writing” for over four years. But I figured, eh maybe this class will help me improve.  chap books

It is hard to explain exactly what Dr. Ron Moran’s class did to me. I went from banging stones together to creating music. In true Emily Dickinson fashion, I had the top of my head blown off by what I learned in that class.

Years later when I was working in a printer’s shop, I made two small chap books of my poetry. It was a delight to create the book — especially the first book: The Structure of Love & Other Poems. I had such fun deciding on the paper and the color of ink, choosing the cover art and even typesetting the poems. It was a different sort of art, making the book. My second chap book, The Suicide King, was more rushed. I knew I was leaving the print shop and moving to Portland, and I had just enough poems, perhaps, to make a second book.

I have always thought that I’ll get back to poetry. I still think that. Not long after we moved to Portland though, I put down my pen, and I’ve not picked it up — not for poetry anyway — since. I need profound amounts of time and quiet in order to hear the poetic pulse of the world. I just don’t have that right now. Or, I have not retreated to my internal fortress in order to be able to hear the pulse.

Honestly, except for passing moments of memory, I haven’t thought about my poetry very much. Daily life, my marriage, my fiction, these things are my focus. And then, just the other day, someone found this site by searching for “beth lyons poems” and I thought, “Yes, I have this other writing, too.”

I’ll post a few poems today and add a few here and there over the coming weeks. And who knows? Maybe it will inspire me to stop and listen deeply.


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