Bitter Poet Takes A Stand On Writing, Love, And Other Risky Enterprises By Jones Howell

Bitter Poet Takes A Stand On Writing, Love, And Other Risky Enterprises

so maybe it’s not going to be long walks on the beach
or wool-sweater afternoons while the leaves pile up
in the front yard. it’s going to be the witch hazel
on the open wound, the white nights when you stare
at a screen instead of her luminous face.

but it’s the bottom of the seventh inning and i have been
on the bench since the preseason, and here is what i know:
it is no small thing to pass poems back and forth
like couriers du coeur.

no passing matter to feel your heart beating in your ears
when her voice finds its way to you.

this is now or never love. we cannot be twenty-something
like this again, shiny and bright as new pennies.
don’t you want to give that to her? don’t you want to know
what that feels like?

get in the car. drive through the desert until you can drink
from her cup. taste her neck and sing hallelujah,
and when the pain comes, bear it gladly.

i am saying this, poet to poet: i have run away
from the earthquake, but i have never stopped craving
the aftershocks.

we are young and foolish and writing about our hearts
as if they are fruits, which bruise but never heal.
this is no time for caution. go headfirst, go headstrong,
go to her.

By Jones Howell


Jones Howell is a graduate of the Northwestern University Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg Creative Writing (Fiction) sequence. She grew up on the Maryland waterfront, went to school by Lake Michigan, and now calls suburban Georgia home. She misses the sea. She has been writing, in some form or another, for over ten years. She maintains a poetry blog at


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