How much better off would we be
if every poet and wanna be were
compelled to write using only paper
and a quill pen dipped regularly
into a small glass inkwell?
You must wonder if we would see
more elegance, villanelles, sonnets,
and the other forms now lying jumbled
in the great literary waste bin.
What would we discover if left
to our own hand, words born
or twisted by coincidence or error,
no autocorrect function save
the endless manual revisions?
Perhaps this is the failure of much
of today’s poetry, but neither of us
is likely to find out, for this, like
so many others, was cast to pixels
on a device far smarter than I.
Tomorrow this poem will
most assuredly no lnger be here,
though when during the night
it will slip away, never again
to be seen, I don’t know or perhaps it
will return in a form I would not recognize,
re-crafted by the hand of an unseen editor.
It may take on a meaning unfamiliar,
or translate itself into a tongue
that I can neither speak nor read,
or perhaps, most dreadedly, assume
the shape of prose, accreting words
until the embedded thought is bloated
and wholly unrecognizable.
Even if I tried to stop it, watched
carefully, it would no doubt
remind me that poems have a life
of their own once cast to paper
or pixels, and I am at best only
another editor or reader, and it
takes kindly on most days to neither.