word wednesday | poetry poem writing | todd regoulinsky

There’s a school of thought that says a poem is never finished, it’s just resting. For most of my writing life, I haven’t had a traditional view of that since I seemed so allergic to editing that I should have an epi-pen at the ready. So most poems were finished immediately after they were typed because there was little chance I’d go back and do anything with them.

Since I’ve become more comfortable with editing as part of my writing process (thanks poetry book that you’ll someday get to see!), I’m less inclined to pronounce any poem truly finished.

Take this one, for instance. I don’t think it’s done quite yet, and not just in the “I need to go back and tighten things up” sort of way – I feel like there’s some more lines to be written. That it hasn’t quite reached its destination yet.

That being said, enjoy this poem in progress.

bring your library card

nights like these,
i wander aimlessly
among the dead-end library
of my heart

past the reference room,
into the dusty stacks,
volume upon volume
standing on end 
and full of faults, defects,
mishaps, missteps, 
missed loves, loves lost,
and the key to that lock box
that has been lost since 
sixth grade.

it’s all there, waiting patiently
for me to visit and relive 
a moment from time to time,
to revive some piece of
my history for posterity
and personal torture.