Week of September 24 by Katelyn Halpern

This week, I’m sharing a piece I wrote last week for poetry class.

My philosophy for the line:

Defining the line* is a waste of time. It is building a castle from dry sand: your hands will do the work, and you will end up with a pile of sand and a circle of voices arguing whether and when a pile is a castle. By now, the line has thrown off all but the most useless and defensible characteristics, such as: a line is a unit. Duh and so what? The line carries the weight of the past like we have a tailbone and no tail. Don’t waste your time.

Here is what I understand of the line from running my sighted hands over its face while I hold my eyes closed. The line is an intention. // It is figurative; it figures the poem, along with space, rhythm, meaning, word. It is a thing, not the thing. It is part of a balanced breakfast. // The line is a dance step. But what kind of dance are you doing? // The line is a brick. But are you building your house by laying bricks or sawing wood? // The line is a unit of control. It is as far as a poet will go before they want to stop, or want to stop you. // The line is chewing; the break is swallowing. The line is breathing; the break is also breathing. The line sets a pace for breath or digestion or your choice of natural process of taking in. // The line is enough. An amuse-bouche. A room. A photo op. A mind of its own. // Lines are whatever you want as long as they do the job. Just don’t fuck it up.

*It’s not just the line. It’s almost anything of art you want to pin down in the current age.

Week of June 4 by Katelyn Halpern

This week, I’m starting to share work about once a week. Here’s a poem I made in the recent past.

What To Do (or How to Do It)

Carry your dog like a baby
Carry your baby like a watermelon or a loaf of bread
Don't carry your own watermelons and bread; get someone else to do that

Put your baby on a leash and put the dog in a stroller
Put your baby in a motorized car and your dog on a drone
Are you getting all this?

Put the baby on your tongue
Put the dog's tongue inside your own mouth
And remember to rinse and spit before you kiss the baby

(kh, may 2018)