Poetry Month Plans Gone Awry
It’s Not Too Late To Celebrate Poetry
April is National Poetry Month, and it’s already half over. I’ve only read a few poems. I have shared little of my own anywhere yet. I had big plans to post Instagram Reels and even try TikTok poetry videos. I still hope to. But plans are like the pollen on my patio — thick one day and blown clear away the next. Instead of writing and revising poetry, I’ve been heads down on a novel and stories that were supposed to be complete by the end of March.
The novels and stories are in better shape now, so maybe I can catch some of the celebration and momentum. Like NaNoWriMo, National Poetry Month creates a month-long conversation. A pool of shared energy through creating and consuming poetry. But better than NaNoWriMo, non-creators can take part through live readings and simply reading poetry on their own.
For my creativity, I need this month and its energy. Looking through my poetry drafts I must have hundreds of poems in some state of revision. I haven’t seriously revised any in over three months and I miss it. Adding or removing lines, changing words to discover the poem lurking in that brambly word-thicket, is the reward I get from writing poetry.
All this is to say, I’m going to challenge myself to revise, perhaps not to completion, at least a poem per day for the rest of the month.
Have you looked at your bones,
really studied close,
the pits and grooves engraved?
Have you peeled back the skin,
the shroud masking,
who we were, who we are?
Have you listened to your bones,
heard the rhythm,
the stories we tell ourselves?
Have you tasted your bones,
licked the calcified structure,
the scaffold holding us upright?
Have you smelled your bones,
caught the scent
of lost second chances?
Have you held your bones,
felt the curve of their shape
and wrapped yourself in warm embrace?
Kevin Fellows is the author of the novel At the End of the World and the poetry collection An Important Sky. He’s had short fiction and poetry published at Translunar Travelers Lounge, Star*Line, and others. He is also co-host of The Time is Right: Living a Creative Life podcast. You can learn more at kevinjfellows.com.