Journal of Writing & Environment

Poems for Impatient People, Web Rove

by Andrew Payton

I am often impatient with poetry; I want it to strike me quick, gut me fast, and toss me away in a short few lines. There’s great stuff out there that stretches far beyond the first page, I know, I know, but I really appreciate short imagistic poems that share their piece and move on. Especially when I’m on the internet. It’s just so easy to click away—as soon as a line bores me, click, I’m free. Now perhaps this is irresponsible of me. As a reader of poetry I should have more patience, allow for the slow blooms to hook me. But there is just so much to read, why should I stick with something that isn’t doing it for me? My time is important to me: thrill me, or click, goodbye. There’s another poem, perhaps somewhere close in the digital realm, that’s really going to grab me.

In my impatient clicking, here are a few poems I recently found that do just this sort of grabbing.

“Knecht with Nature 765-588-1130” by Rosalie Moffett (from Boston Review)

I admire this poem’s use mundane everyday image, though one with humor and sadness, to jump into completely unexpected—yet motivated—places.

“The Fog Town School of Thought” by Maurice Manning (from Orion)

I like this poem because I wholeheartedly agree.

“I’m Sorry to Piss You Off, Wendell Berry” by David Wright (from Hobart)

This poem’s intrigue begins with the title. You also don’t see too many poems about taking a piss that really work, and I think this, because it’s about the degradation and ownership, does “shine like a river stone.”

“Get Out of Your Whale Boat” by Melissa Broder (from Yalobusha Review)

Those who know me know I’m obsessed with whales, and so besides my obvious draw to this title, I’m drawn into so many of these lines. I can’t quite figure them out, but I like where they take me and what sorts of emotions and images are conjured up along the way. “I have such mosquito innards / My bone condition is suck”—now that’s something.

Two Poems by Noelle Kocot (from Yalobusha Review)

These two poems also come from the debut online issue of Yalobusha Review. The force and drive of are revealed immediately; in “Reflections on Youth” there is “striving” and “wait” in the first two lines, in “To Live Intelligently” there is “fear.”