For the first time in five years, Beyond Easy will not be celebrating National Poetry Month.
No, it's not that I don't like poetry anymore. I read The Writer's Almanac almost every morning; I'm stoked to get my hands on a copy of Herman Melville's Clarel (which is, incidentally, the longest poem in American literature); I consider the best thing I've read in a lit zine so far this year is Emily Schultz's poem "Everything of You Resembles a Human;" poetry collections are still some of my favorite material for bathroom reads. But I'm pretty much out of material to share. Most of my old favorites have been covered at this point. I'm no longer living above a library with a healthy and diverse poetry section. And I don't have the time or impetus lately to read stacks and stacks of journals and anthologies to cull and curate my favorite pieces. (I'm simultaneously writing/revising/finalizing/rewriting like three 10,000–20,000-word stories, and that's using quite a bit of my personal bandwidth.)
So yeah. That's that.
Oh—what the heck. Here's one for the road: a short piece (anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2013) by Tim Seibles, a poet born of Philadelphia, the city that's been lighting my cigarettes lately.
Sotto Voce: Othello, Unplugged
Tim Seibles (1955 – )
Iago, it was not Desdemona but myself
I loved too much. So many battles found me
unharmed, but the want of beauty struck
like a kind of death. My rank only served
to wound my head with bigger dreams.
Didn't I deserve better than the tricks
every season brings? All my years
had stumbled into shadow: my own
dark face, harder and harder to find
in this cold kingdom. You knew my soul
ached for a woman who could conduct
my blood——that I might be in love alive
with the sharp sublime flinting
her eyes. All mine! My heart nearly
doubled until you made me doubt——
not so much Desdemona as my own
worthiness: if what I was couldn't make love
faithful I thought better to be done with
her than to know myself a smaller man.