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So, I started thinking on the drive home tonight that maybe my current struggles with this process have more to do with this indulgent chatter at the beginning, and less to do with the poeming itself, so I almost decided not to warm up tonight, but then I remembered I wanted to tell you about the interview I read today “Widening the Conversation: Edward Hirsch holds forth on his Poet’s Glossary,” by Annie Finch, and how that was inspiring. So here I go, being indulgent and chattery when I really, really just need to write a poem and go to bed. I’ll keep it short.

This interview made me remember that I should be trying harder to get better at this, and that means thinking more about poesy. Which led me to think about ghazals, and how it is one of my favorite forms. One of my favorites is “Tonight”, by Agha Shahid Ali”, and you can read it and about the ghazal here.  I can’t go into why I love them so much, but I will tomorrow. Right now I have to get to it, because it’s late and even though I extended my curfew a bit because I’m tired, I can’t stay up all night writing ghazals. Lord, if only. 

Clark Fork Ghazal

There are eyes along the darkened highway tonight,

but none’s brighter than the rails and engine tonight.


Just before I see their blank bodies moving close

Dangerous eyes push my feet to the brake tonight,


Tell me, oh, tell me, how do you pray in the swerve?

The picturebook God in my head listens tonight.


It is a stuck heart going across the tracks into town,

in the Cabinet Mountain Bar they talk guts tonight.


More eyes along the highway, watching, watching me,

Not just the deer, but the eyes in orbit tonight.


The newsfeed buzzes with that cold-blooded charity,

with pity in the doorframe, you walk upstairs tonight.


Talk to me, eyes, I’ll tell you what I know, of love,

its engine, its rapture, its hunt, its disarray tonight.


Okay, so, is using “tonight” totally ripping off Agha Shahid Ali? But, I mean, he can’t end up being the only poet from now until forever to write a “tonight” ghazal. Rumi and Hafiz would frown upon that, I reckon. Also, I know this is only half of what it should be. Less than, probably. Yes, I’m going to bend one of the rules, I forget which, and finish it tomorrow. Happy Wednesday!