If you’ve never carried a poem in your pocket before, now is a good time to start.
April 26th is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. It’s pretty self-explanatory--you copy down a poem and carry it in your pocket all day. Simple, right?
I’ve asked people in and around the Piper Center (the headquarters for HFR) to share the poems they plan on carrying on PIYPD, and the reasoning behind their choice. So for the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at the poems staff, interns, MFA students and general float-arounders hold close.
Our first poem comes from Anthony Cinquepalmi, HFR intern and poetry undergrad.
He says, “I suppose one way to go about this is to choose the poem I have returned to most after the first reading. I've read and reread Michael Burkard's poem, "A Small Closed Room," so many times in the year since I've had the book, Fictions from the Self. The poem doesn't strike me as inherently difficult, nor does it demand rereading. Though I think I know what brings me back to this poem. I think it has something to do with loving, and more importantly, relating to the other, whatever the other happens to be. It is a wholly selfish poem about a selfless act. Even in the sarcasm of its ending, the poem relays a sort of comfort, and this must be why I have returned to it again. There's an awkward sense of comfort in all our syzygies and their endings, or maybe the poem's stake is simpler than that, worse: maybe it reminds me of someone I love...”
An excerpt from "A Small Closed Room" by Michael Burkard:
I don't know why I keep these records anymore.
I don't know why
it's a problem of privacy. I guess
I stopped when we stopped, someone
who was not the world, whoever that was.
Which one comes early with the early light
of evening, which is the last early light,
and on any day how do you live on? It is too bright
for me here, and the birds sing, I don't know their names
and don't want to, it is enough that they sing, I look
out a small closed room I put myself in and look out at them
sing, I can't breathe when I do that.