When was the last time you wrote a poem?
Why did you stop?
Too busy drowning to sit or think or write?
You are not a poet. Don’t you dare call yourself a poet because when you quote Whitman or drive past a street named Stafford you aren’t making anything
You are only sitting on a rock next to the river, watching the current swirl before you
You watch this river you once swore ran through your blood
And I know that Virginia Woolf also sat on the banks of a river once in London, but you are not her either
You didn’t even jump in, all you did was dangle your toes and wonder how long it would take for your shoes to dry
The rock underneath you is dry and you are dry and neither of you are poets
No, the rocks in the middle of the river that make the water angry, that make glassy water break into a thousand bottles of champagne, the rocks that make the water soar and splinter and plummet, they are the poets
They create horizons
And I know you’ve been underwater, you’ve stood in the river and you’ve tumbled with the rocks and fallen into the water once or twice
But that was not enough
The rock on the shore is not a rapid and you are not a poet