By Ken Gosse

Right the Words

a Senryu

If the words you write
say more or less what you mean,
search for better words.

True to Form

If your poetry’s formal, don’t go far astray—
take the well-traveled road so it won’t get away.
Stay true to its form, every facet belay
or your Gordian knot will have threads which will fray.

Your pitiful faux pas will be on display
and your manicured cur will be shunned as a stray.
The general public won’t care anyway,
but if poets should read it, there’ll be hell to pay.

Free to be Me

Fibonacci Bits

I think that I shall never be
a poet like those
who write free.

Use rhyme sans reason? Not for me,
because I write with
verse unfree.

It seems I’m more like Bartleby:
preferring not to.
Yes, that’s me.

As the Sonnet Turns

in 100 words

To turn a sonnet on its side with ten lines, not fourteen,
iambic heptameter’s plied to compensate for form;
divided into two quatrains, a couplet is foreseen—
the resolution, where it strains in efforts to conform.

A “So-why-not” or “So-it’s-not,” it doesn’t fit the norm
to meet traditions of a sonnet, it’s more like a teen
who thinks he’s new, for there are few fourteeners in the swarm
of poetry he might have read if teaching was routine.

And yet, perhaps, the teen has heard of “Casey at the Bat,”
or maybe knows “Quickbeam’s Lament”—’twas Tolkien who wrote that.

The Toll of a Vanillanelle

When writing, I avoid the Villanelle
although it’s quite a marvelous device;
my muses tease that I don’t write them well.

They seem to sense my failure to excel
and spread deep doubt throughout with wry advice,
hence writing, I avoid the Villanelle.

My poker face reveals my every tell,
and so, instead of cards, I’ll roll the dice
while muses tease that I don’t write them well.

My trembling doesn’t cause a great groundswell
or even crack the frozen surface ice.
When writing, I avoid the Villanelle.

Is this from fear my Villanelles won’t sell
for reasons which will never seem precise?
My muses tease that I don’t write them well.

For me, the knell may be another bell,
though Villanelles have tolled me once or twice.
When writing, I avoid the Villanelle—
my muses teasing I don’t write them well.

One thought on “Right the Words and Other Poems

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