Every day the poems slip away, as indifferent as cats. They slink behind trees and clouds. The burble beneath the swamp. I glimpse them floating downstream as I am walking up. But they are not just in the woods.
They also taunt me from the hoods of passing cars. The driver, oblivious to their presence, guns the motor and they go tumbling into traffic. I want to save them, but they’re not hurt. They dash across the lanes, and run into a bar, laughing at my earnestness.
The poems are in the white space between the letters than coil from my pen. They are between the clicks on the keyboard. Their links no longer work. Their URLs are expired. Someone tries to sell the URLs back to them. They don’t care.
I go to the mall, and there I find them gleefully riding the wave of an indoor fountain, and sliding, cool and moist, out of the soft serve ice cream machine. There goes one riding in a Gucci bag. A pocketbook poem. It gives me the finger. The woman doesn’t even know its there. “You want me too badly,” the poem calls out. “I can never be yours.”
I set traps and check them in the middle of the night. I open my notebook, hoping one has been captured. It’s empty, the sprung teeth of a beaver trap. A bit of fur is all.
I am beginning to think that poetry is not like prose. It does not care so much if it is written. It does not need a poet the way that fiction needs a novelist. I am beginning to think poetry is very ambivalent about this business of becoming marks on a page, black lines, white paper, hands on a book, discussion of meaning. Deconstruction hurts too much. Better to be wild and illusive. The bob cats of the literary world, poems might leave a little scat behind, but the best ones will never be captured by me.
This was written from the prompt, Capturing Something.