Rick Blum

Finding the Crux

The first line is usually the give-away.
As is the second, often, but you already knew that.
So, by the time we get to the third, you’ve already discerned
that this poem was undertaken without any clear idea
of what it’s about … or where it’s going.

It’s not really my fault, though. I finger too much sleep –
or, at least, too little restlessness – as the culprit.
Lately, when I wake to reposition an aching hip,
I quickly dissolve back into dreamland instead of blankly
staring at the bedroom closet, which is where my best ideas
seem to reside – just before floating across stilled air
to alight on a fertile semi-consciousness.

Consequently, I’m sitting here after another
good night’s slumber waving my hands like a magician
across a keyboard, hoping you won’t notice
that there’s nothing behind the curtain of words
I’m blithely unfurling.

Of course, many a poem’s crux is hidden behind
opaque metaphors or surreal imagery, not to mention
overabundant alliteration. So this is not an entirely
unprecedented approach.

At least I’ve spared you rhymed couplets that distract
using sound over substance, or a sestina’s complex
end-word repetitions sucking up all your attention,
or an anesthetizing patterned pantoum, or, even,
a lowly limerick, in which strict meter and rhyme fight
for top billing, while illumination gets a walk-on, at best.

All this to say: The truth is you’ve been hoodwinked;
read all the way to the end of this disquisition expecting
enlightening observations or a deep emotional deluge,
only to realize it’s a Seinfeld episode: about nothing at all –
just pernicious graffiti grafted onto a promiscuous blank page,
for which I am truly sorry, though strangely satisfied.

© Rick Blum 2019