I am tired of the words I already have. They do not sparkle For me nor dance In the sun. I’ve muddied them, Mixed them, Misused them, Abused them… These words Are old news - A belletrist’s folly. An artist’s retreating. They are wasted and Vengeful, cotton wool On a tongue: It suddenly strikes me That I am having no Fun. Precious words sit like Rare colors in my hand: Chinese vermillion Lapis lazuli Cobalt violet Deep cadmium yellow Cremnitz white Next to Cerulean blue Poisonous and heavy In their pristine beauty: Oh, what am I going to do With you! I’ve frittered words away In various combinations. Thrown them upon the Tide in imprecise attempts At illumination. I’ve whittled them down, And bigged them up I’ve been extravagant And wasteful And overfilled that Unforgiving Proverbial cup. Water flows free Out of the faucet I hold my head under And clean my palette All that richness going Down the drain All those words Swirling uselessly Around my brain. Over on the table The blank page awaits Unmarked. I make a cup of tea And go walk around Ina Coolbrith Park. I see her face in the Clouds - Librarian-wise. Poetic concepts In the shadows of her eyes As I waste The most precious Resource of all… Then return to the Photograph of Charlie Chaplin That sits crookedly On the wall of my Apartment’s Entrance hall. I die each day as I rip the Words out More precious than lapis lazuli I wait for the printer to Spit them out.
Ina Donna Coolbrith (Ina Donna Coolbrith (March 10, 1841 – February 29, 1928) She was born in Illinois, but adopted San Francisco as her city. She was an San Franciscan poet, writer, and librarian. She was very active in the San Francisco Bay Area literary and artistic communities. Nicknamed the “Sweet Singer of California”, she was the first California Poet Laureate. The park named after Ina Coolbrith in San Francisco’s Russian Hill community is a beautiful place to walk around and watch the day go by.