Poetry: Instructions on How to Read It

When you read a poem you don’t need to think about others, you don’t need to look for patterns, clues or answers, but instead you need to feel. Discover what someone else is experiencing. The words document them, their encounters, their emotions and all those etceteras. You need to listen too, for the sound(s). The same sounds that get you up (comma) going outside (comma or) inside doors (comma while) dancing, like that, you know? It’s like a song, but you don’t need instruments to play it, here, feel it. And you don’t need to know things, know about things, to read it- a poem, you just need to be able to put your voice to it. Reawaken it, the lines. Speak the poem. Read it a loud a few times, if you want. Think about meter and meaning— the beat(s), the off-beat(s) and pause(s). Regardless, it doesn’t need to make sense. Nothing really needs to make sense, but if you want it to… go ahead make it. Make sense. But what is sense? It’s just a word. It’s just letters put together to make something nice, something bigger than just s & e & n and s & e. A poem is really whatever you want it to be. My mom refuses to read poems, she tells me she doesn’t have the brain for it, the smarts, but I tell her every time, “There is no one brain for it. You just read it like anything. If you get something out of it, I mean if you feel something, then that is great. Reading the words, the lines, is just like any other adventure. Some lines are fast— you stop at the end, and have time to think. Some are slow—tons of images and ideas and others are in-between                              moments.