Writing Like Knitting

I wrote a poem today, which is not something I typically do. In fact, I didn’t intend to do it at all.

I was listening to Mike Birbiglia’s postcast, Working it Out. In episode 4, he talks about writing poetry with his wife, and Matt Berninger and Carin Besser of The National. They talked about all the people who are out there making creative work, but not showing or sharing it. Maybe not even having the desire to share. Mike seemed surprised and fascinated by the idea, and I also find it very strange to think about. Whenever I write, I always have the vague idea of a reader other than myself in mind.

They discussed working on a poem for years, “like knitting,” with no real concern or urgency for finishing it. In fact, specifically enjoying the not-doneness of it. Writing as a pass-time. Writing as a personal, private act, or peaceful meditation.

This idea really struck me. So even though I don’t write poetry, it felt fitting in the moment to write a poem about writing poems. I started writing, and before I knew it, a poem happened. I won’t vouch for the quality, but it was a fun little spontaneous act of creation. In fact, it was fun enough that I’m thinking I might delve into poetry again some time.

She Writes

She writes
Taps the keys
A poem, a secret, between her and the screen
Words are fluid
Day to day, month to month,
Year to year
Obsequious to whim and whimsy
To whatever mood takes her
That day
That year

The poems are not for others
They are hers
They are her
They are
A slow progression, knitting
Bonsai trimming
Cutting hair
No desire to share
To show
Not greedy
Just comfortable in the words
In the middle of making
No concern
For done