“How It Is” and How It Goes
Today at Poetry for Life on Substack I’m beginning a series for March about Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poetry collection Naked for Tea, which I have spent the last six weeks or so absolutely steeping in.
She has a poem called “How It Is.” I wrote “How It Goes” in response. It’s a poem that never would have occurred to me to write if I wasn’t consciously trying to imitate hers. I’m letting her teach me how to be a better poet.
How It Goes
Not today, I swear. Today
I will change and
find some blessed relief.
For a few minutes, an hour, tops
I juggle well—as if
imagination could be contained.
As if forces from within
could simply veer and avoid
collision. As if music could be
silenced. As if hearts could stop
beating. As if love
could be swallowed by death.
This song that’s been unleashed
will have its common way
with me. Eventually
someone will figure it out. And at some
point, perhaps, I decide
to let it radiate—
come up from my toes, pool
in my belly, gather in
my diaphragm and come out
through my open throat—unleashed,
unhinged, no recover sought—and my God,
how beautiful the dissonance as two
notes meet at the crossroads.
“Megan Willome has captured the essence of crow in this delightful children’s collection. Not only do the poems introduce the reader to the unusual habits and nature of this bird, but also different forms of poetry as well.”
—Michelle Ortega, poet and children’s speech pathologist