I’ve been turning walls into doors
for as long as I can remember,
and mainly to learn how to be both
my own key and keyhole
and let myself out when everybody knew
I was the only one who could.
So, this past week at work I caught myself
generating original writing material
for one of my students in my head,
like the way I learned how to write
imaginatively, by treating every moment
of writer’s block as a door
into the real autobiographical work
I wanted to read,
but then stopped myself.
Why don’t these kids enjoy writing
the way I did when I was their age?
Well, there are a million reasons
for that one, none of which make this
poetry thing I do any more relevant for them,
despite my wishes to the contrary,
and one of them is that I get a kick out of
writing myself out of anything.
I tell my student if I imagine for him
I would be providing for him a disservice,
and that at most I could model how
a creative writer might generate content
with some examples. Does that sound
okay to you? I ask him, and he says sure.
Exactly, I say. I begin rattling off
some possible definitions for sure, like
to be certain, confident in one’s position,
filled with conviction, a kind of deodorant.
Then I ask him when was the last time you
were so sure about something you smelled like
confidence and barely broke a sweat all day?
To which he says you’re weird.
Why thank you for the compliment,
I tell him, then dive back in with an
informal analysis of the word weird with strange,
off the grid, wacky, and beyond words.