(originally written and sent 1/1/12)
on a crisp autumn evening several months ago waiting in line to participate in the water balloon toss at one of our fair city's periodic music/recreational festivals, idly gazing over at several small children splashing around in a mud/gasoline puddle, I decided right then and there that if I were to in fact establish a realistic new year's resolution for 2012 it would have to be of a profoundly simple, easy, and non-theoretical nature. I used to be the sort of person who only dreamed about great adventures- now even the dreaming part seems a little beyond my capacities.
several days after that, in the midst of sweeping some nut and root fragments out into the alley with a weathered dollar store broom, I hit on exactly what it should be: a one-two punch of a resolution- you understand what I'm getting at here- one that would ideally delight and benefit others as much as it would me: to write and officially publish a poem of 5 or more stanzas.
most of the poems I have written thus far in my career have clocked in at a solid 3 stanzas- it's traditional, after all. but this year I decided it was time to stretch myself a bit, even if it did make me a touch nervous to issue such a seemingly arbitrary and imperious demand to my highly temperamental and rather peevish artistic muse.
(the last time I did such a thing she made a curt suggestion regarding my bic pen and a certain place or cavity where the sun doesn't usually shine.)
well, several minutes ago, not having anything better to do with my morning, I sat down and just did it- you know- just got the damned thing completely out of the way! just rattled the whole thing off at one fell swoop! although it feels good to be getting the new year started off on such a proactive foot, I realize all to well that without the incentive of the...well...you know...the little paper...what's it called?...the little scrap with drunken writing on it? you know! the scrawled words of resolution carried around all year folded up in the wallet or briefcase...on some napkin or candy wrapper- that without them I migh- oh, never mind. golly jeepers! the matters we sometimes blow out of all proper human proportion! I started that previous sentence with, like, total conviction and then progressively forgot what originally seemed to be so friggin' important!
(you begin to understand the rationale, I think, beyond mere hidebound tradition, for keeping the lion's share of my poetry to 3 stanzas or less.)
along with a little eye-rolling you might also be thinking to yourself at this moment that sending a poem out thru email does not exactly constitute having it officially published and you would be entirely justified thinking that. it's the simple man's solution, I guess- not to mention rather easy and entirely non-theoretical.
so anyways, here it is:
untitled (a poem by matthew w. baird written in honor of the new year and in the spirit of getting things over and done with the smallest amount of shilly-shallying as humanly possible)
as opposed to
people I do not know by name;
machines I know how to operate
as opposed to
machines I do not know how to operate;
books I have read and appreciated
as opposed to
books I have completely ignored or derided;
and countless linguistic
I don't need to understand everything.
(everything understand to need don't I registers
and glitchescblunders linguistic countless and psychological
technological derided or ignored completely have I books
to opposed as appreciated and read have I books
operate to how know not do I machines to opposed
as operate to how know I machines name by know
don't I people to opposed as name by know I people)