Monday, June 12, 2017

On Writing #133 : Jamie Sharpe

On Writing: Ich Bin Nicht Berliner (I Just Play One in Poems)
Jamie Sharpe

After the publication of Animal Husbandry Today, Buckingham Palace called asking for verse on the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

I set to work immediately: Heaven’s sterling trumpet sounds/ soaring through the Commonwealth/ oh this joyous day!

Later, by letter, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, said kind words on my ode and regretted not accepting it as we received an overwhelming number of outstanding submissions.

I make poems, but I don’t know how to make a poem.

To write poetry I rely on a trick that involves not writing—I don’t write most of the time.

I wait.

Would that I could, I’d consistently manufacture poems.

The sixty-year reign of a foreign monarch is as good a reason for song as any, but it’s a line on jelly doughnuts that eventually jams itself in my head.

Something about holes tasting better than strawberry.

A practiced pastry chef makes doughnuts at will.

Though professionally accredited (check out my fancy MFA) I’m a perpetual amateur.

What congeals for me, and when, is a surprise.

Jamie Sharpe is the author of three poetry collections, Animal Husbandry Today, Cut-up Apologetic & Dazzle Ships.

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