Half Drunk Muse Poetry


The Poem Critiques the Reader, the Writer, Itself by Susan Culver

I. Of course you would like the part
about washing one’s soul in a faraway sea,
it is convenient, easy as a mass produced poster,
a postcard, little dietary value beyond sign here and a stamp.
You are as unlearned as the writer, as hopeful
of the same things, and capturing more than your moment
is sort of like pondering how often children love
their parents solely for having given them life,

II. and how a mother loves enough to rise
above the empty coffin of herself,
fills her hungry womb with words, knowing
she has not yet begun to teach them to swim
beyond the freshet of themselves, to touch humanity
in ways both equal and severe, to be
the moss-gathered grotto through which the collective soul
exhumes itself from a sunken ship.

III. Exhume thyself, soul, I say
(for don’t all poems secretly long to be British,
faintly reminiscent of the King James?),
and imagine my disappointment that I will neither be
the exalted treasure of the sea, nor father of this family,
will never wear the smoking jacket, raise the crystal snifter
at our three-party feast; that my purpose is as divine

as what rises from manholes in Hoboken, commonplace
as hotdogs, paper plates. Imagine.

View bio for Susan Culver Published in Fall 2005

About HDM

Half Drunk Muse was one of the first poetry ezines. It was founded in 1999 and ceased publication in 2006.

Questions/comments? Email samiller@halfdrunkmuse.com.