Monday Poem

To Question a Corpse

I cannot call a poem, it calls me
It comes, I never go to it

Some days working alone
one will muscle in and say
let’s scope this out
—it’ll pry at essentials and tug
lifting the lid on the casket of the past
to question a corpse

think happenstance—
a thing coincidentally side-lit
glancing off bone, or the sound of a song
falling from a window to the street
as I walk by


a brush with a miracle might do
and a poem will come, as when alyssum
looks so perfect in July


there’s no such thing as inspiration
other than that I inhale whatever comes
and exhale the words a poem discards
as it vanishes in a clear sky

by Jim Culleny, 1/1/10