You Really Have to Lift Your Game

You really have to lift your game, I say to my poems:

pull the finger out, push the envelope, think outside the box;

you’ve been resting on your laurels too long.

Other poets are doing amazing things with words,

smashing them together like neutrons in a Hadron Collider.

Get this: ‘these widowed months’, ‘the dents of highway laughs’,

and my favourite: ‘the soul is a runway for anything willing to fly’.

Whew! they say. Is that all you can say? I say.

Will you try a little harder? I say to my poems. Come on, guys.

For the Home Team. They look a little hesitant, abashed.

I don’t know, they say. It’s just not us.

We’ve been through this before. Okay, okay , I say. I’m sorry.

Just be yourselves. Just occasionally, Huh? Would it hurt?

They look at me. Give me the thumbs up.

Then I play them Slowly Slowly’s ‘Jellyfish’ as a stimulant.

They light up, move to the music.There’s hope for them yet.

* quotes from Bob Whiteside’s blog: naïve haircuts

17 thoughts on “You Really Have to Lift Your Game

  1. I feel your frustration. Most days, I feel like my brain is an echo chamber for other people’s pretty phrases. Or I get some word stuck in my head and every time I try to think about being poetic this word slams its hand up like a goody-two-shoes but without any answers to back up the hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh Juliette, I’m sorry; that’s a bugger of a state to be in; surely there’s something niggling you that you could write about, perhaps even the state of not having anything to write about? it’s been done before but I’m sure you could put your individual twist upon it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. John, this is wonderful. This is a perfect poem to read before we start to write, to make sure we are not too comfortable. And thank you very much for including some lines from a poem of mine. It really means a lot you would think they were worth quoting. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. thanks; I’ll tell my poems — they’ll be chuffed over the gentle reprimand I visited upon them yesterday 🙂
    and yes I visited Michael’s blog and loved it; left a few comments; a real find 🙂 so thanks for that too 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh. This. I adore it. David Byrne asks the musical question: Well, how did I get here?

    After telling my son-in-law of a year writing drabble, I searched Twitter. A few taps later, here you are with this poem. Thank you.

    And dang it. Must write.
    Be well, John Malone! 😊


  6. thank you; good to hear from you 🙂 and yes, I love David Byrne as the front man of ‘Talking Heads’ but realize he has a new artistic life now; it’s funny how people find my poems 🙂


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