Readers Wonder: Ezekiel Grabau
In our “Readers Wonder” series, Bethany students sit down with our Inkwell contributors to talk about the writing process and the pieces that appear in our issues.
In this installment, Brooke and Paige talk to Ezekiel Grabau about his piece: “Ars Poetica with Whiskey or Ode to Obsessions or My Girlfriend Asked What I Was Thinking” which was published in our Spring 2019 issue.
Ars Poetica with Whiskey or Ode to Obsessions or My Girlfriend Asked What I Was Thinking
by Ezekiel H. Grabau
Is poetry a metaphor for life or is life a poetry for metaphor?
is life a metaphor for poetry or maybe
metaphor is the life of poetry?
Pretend I wrote something wise for old time’s sake
imagine that I bent the words to bear my burdens like boughs
words are like henpecked husbands that way
always being bothered about how
late they were out or how
much they worked or how
their day was dear or why
are you so sad sometimes or why
can’t things just be simple for once or I
understand why can’t you understand
or do you love me?
It would be no surprise if words started drinking whiskey
or watching porn when no one was looking
or wandered into the woods and fell asleep beneath the boughs
of pine and woke up twenty years bygone antediluvian and hoary.
Words are so misunderstood
like the quiet person in the corner who sits
silent while someone explains how this poem is about addiction
clearly, all the while knowing deep down exactly
what she thinks I meant.
Words are like old metaphors which no one really understands
except for the one still insisting on the theme of addiction
clearly, we keep them around like the same old souvenirs
of a historical site or a road trip we barely remember
but means something
why keep them?
Maybe my life
Maybe my metaphors don’t make sense to you
which wouldn’t surprise me much since
I still don’t fully understand how
to bend the words to say what I mean or if
antediluvian is as outdated and awkward
as assuming the gender of the silent student or if
hoary is as tired and tried
as a drunk sitting on a high stool denying his addiction or if
they are hardy like flexible yet unbreakable boughs or if
I am just spinning in circles
looking for three words to a simple personal question
and burdening three hundred more
which clearly mean as much to you as they do to me
why keep them?
Why give them my secrets, my burdens, my effort
if they do not have the weight to bend your mind?