There are too many loops here like in bad knitting,
little small burbles of ribbon or thread
that get caught on things–hooks and cleets and rings
and other protuberances. Too many holes–
whatever’s outside can seep in, or leak out.
We sink; we dribble away. The mooring
is tied with a slipknot and the wind is up.
Who knows where we’ll find ourselves in the morning?
There are too many superfluous words here
that are redundant and unnecessary, too much
terrible repetition. There are too many
deplorable adjectives (though clearly hardly any adverbs)
instead of the perfect punchy clear and trouncing
verbs and what’s more it’s all happening here
on this very page, right now, even as we speak
and not in some remote and clouded but highly
metaphorical past or even better in some speculative
and probable or improbable conditional future
or even worse in the dreadful kind of imperfect
ship we all find ourselves in since we keep
sailing on and writing poems like this one that simply is
not at all tidy tight correct and perfectly seaworthy.
for Peter Davison
Published in The Burlington Poetry Journal, 2010