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