"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker

They Are, They Become

At their tables with their tablets, at their desks with their laptops,
At home, in the coffee shops, in libraries, in bars, they scream
Out words onto the paper, they punch letters up on the screen,
They form lines, they build stanzas, they shape poems with rhyme,
With meter, with cadence. They are, they become.

Their work is everywhere, it’s in the class room
Hung with blue and green tacks, it’s in the restrooms
Written in black marker on the stalls, it’s painted on the alley walls
And carved into the oak against the thick bark, you can read it in slender
Books, you can hear it stream from the open mikes. They are, they become.

They never amputate the passion, they don’t starve the inspiration.
They grow upward and bloom like sunflowers, they twist and plant
Like roots, they lean against the wind, they swim upstream,
they scale the rock And with battered bodies collapse on the summit.
They are, they become.

In desperation the poet writes, in despair the poet rewrites,
They have so much to say and so many words to say it with
But no one listens and no one hears them, so the poet stays in the corner,
in the shadow, in the bottle.
They fall out of the main stream but grow into the consciousness. They are, they become.

Eric Loya