For being “dead” as poetry is always said to be, I sure have met a lot of poets online. I sure have met a lot of folks who still practice this “dead” art form and who are still invested in its future. I sure have met a lot of people who are knowledgeable about poetry and who still insist that there are new things to say, or new ways to say old things, or new ways to say new things, using the tropes and mechanisms of poetry.
When I go to bookstores, I always see people browsing the poetry section, and I see lots of new poetry books adorning the shelves. I even buy some myself, on occasion. I’ve bought several poetry chapbooks for my Kindle.
Poetry is dead? Well, if it is, there sure seems to be large number of people who never got the memo.
Natasha Head is a poet I first met on Instagram, and then on Tumblr and Twitter as well. She’s active on Facebook, and what’s more, she’s very active in the Canadian poetry community, and she has appeared on podcasts to read her work and she’s been printed in Canadian journals and she has published several collections of her own work. She’s quite a wonderful poet who has become an essential voice in my own writing world.
Poetry is dead? I’d tell you not to tell her, but really? I don’t think she gives a shit. She’s too busy writing poems.
Losers Like Us
by Natasha Head
I had the car and the notebook
You had the weed and the beer
We both had the urge for leaving
Get up and get out of here
We made it as far as the sidewalk
Never knew that at one point it ends
Never knew where the concrete would take us
Never knew that we’d never again
Hid the car in the lot at the old rink
Took the path beaten on the forest floor
Took the notebook the weed and the beer
Took again and then took some more
The camp wasn’t much to look at
There really wasn’t much to see
Just me with my little notebook
And you with your bag of weed
The bench was hard and splintered
But to us it was good as a throne
The smoke was heavy and skunky
If it wasn’t, we would have stayed home
The soundtrack was a walkman
With blaster speakers doctored by you
Suicidal Tendencies, Social Distortion
Back then, the balls and chains were few.
You let me tell you stories
I let you read what I had wrote
I let you sing my simple words
Even then it was poetry you spoke
All we knew for certain
Was that we couldn’t be caught
Losers like us have a way of evasion
We slip away with barely a thought.