Hard to know how poems get where they get, how they began.
But whatever the journey it’s something of a mix of start/stop, fatigue, exhilaration, grit and more, herein
Isn’t the process a bit like becoming Alice (dear girl) and
falling down the rabbit hole into a roil of unknowns,
unspokens, previously unfetched??
Of course there’s a difference, too. She seems to have
come back to “reality”—ie the adult world only to
fit in, be proper. We the poets return with a poem,
if we’re lucky, still standing.
This poem has a distant origin in my readings
of Greek & Roman mythology (Homer & Ovid who else)
and then a lot of interest in Existentialism, that cluster of
Camus, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, et. al.
I came away drawn to how Camus borrowed Sisyphus
away from his adventures (misadventures) with Zeus
and the guys and turned him into your basic existential
hero: one who chooses to define himself and so become
authentic, not just another paper bag wafting in the
It took awhile. Much time passing before the feel
of a poem began to surface, rattle around, hide
a bit, churn back. Lines began to form, some sense
of an ending lifted out of the many shadows.
How that works remains for me unworded,
unmeasured. Maybe some jolting in the
inner self—or as some say now one’s neural
A stanza or two got the knife. Lines chopped and
changed, as always. The ending wouldn’t come
until it did. And that’s the poem.