Not the kind you wear; the kind that cause something to happen. I guess like the kind you wear.
I'm asking myself lately what causes a poem.
A lot of poems seem based on events, or, when you go to poetry readings, you hear things like, "I wrote this while my cat was dying of cancer," or "I wrote this for my wife on her birthday." A lot of times, poems seem to have real causes in the world. A spur. Something happens, and then a poem begins.
Lately I have been trying to write poems that are not happenings.
Or, should I say, poems that are less about happenings and more about chance.
For example, this morning I was up with the sun (ugh), reading blogs, when I came upon the word "housewife" (or "housewives," can't remember which) on Kelli's blog, and I thought, yes. So I wrote the poem I later posted.
One day, looking through the google searches that bring folks here, I saw "lyric tattoo." That begged to be a poem. I wrote "Tattoo."
Rebecca sent me a poem called "Aperture," so I wrote a poem called "Aperture."
Do these poems matter? Is a poem made better by being more closely tied to the poet's life, or can a poet just riff? And if these are riffs, will anyone listen or will it seem like the noise before the opening act before the band you paid your $50 to see? I joke with my dad that the kind of jazz he likes sounds like the band is warming up to play the kind of jazz I like.
Are these warm-ups, or might they be real?
What about you all—do you riff, or are you spurred by reality?