Ars Poetica (Or: Walking in Lines with Five Feet)

What have we to say that bears repeating?
Statements that start out I love … or I’m sorry
those are best. The rest of speech will mostly
miss the mark we aim for. Language frets free

the instant syllables escape the lips:
so little mercy from our mouths. Wonder
is best expressed in music, or in clay,
unless the gods send motes of meaning, blessed

by truth and beauty, to a skillful hand,
and then that hand moves without fear across
the snowy page. Scant are the essential
writings from our kind. Clouds are more fluent.

Oceans can’t go wrong, inscribing endless
hieroglyphics the sand does not ignore.

Annie StenzelAnnie Stenzel’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ambit, Catamaran Literary Reader, Quiddity, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and Unsplendid, and in the anthologies Patient Poets and Ten Years of Medicine and the Arts. Annie is also a letterpress printer and was a member of Thicket Press, a Bay Area collective that published a number of hand-bound chapbooks and broadsides. She pays the bills by working at a mid-sized law firm in San Francisco.