a poem can’t do much with other people – Sean Corbitt

A poem can’t do much with other people.
In writing we deny, indulge, retreat.
The intellect thrusts upward like a steeple,
to look down on the busy city street,
a new perspective, if the poet’s humble
in other aspects of his busy life.
He gives himself this private space to stumble
into new truths by making plain his strife
with humbleness’s opposite, reflection-
gazing, that clear and ever-present threat.
It hides within himself. He learns deflection,
delaying the day the self collects its debt.
Delaying so, he makes (failure the norm)
the fallacy of imitative form.