The Reluctant Writer: Something Else to do When I Should Be Writing

March 23, 2009

Selfish poet

Those of you who know me know how reluctant I am to share my poetry.  That’s because I’ve learned that, just as it is with wine, the more one knows about poetry, the more one knows there is a lot more to learn.  This, however, is a habit I’m trying to break — if for no other reason than to set an example. 

I’ve always felt an almost physical pain at the thought of anyone hiding their words — I think it goes back to what Alice Walker taught me years ago in In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens.  Too many women throughout time have had neither the resources nor the confidence nor the support to put their words out there; too few have believed their words were worthy of being committed to paper or sound.  Not all those lost words came from great writers of poetry or prose.  But that doesn’t decrease their value.  I’m the person who usually tries to convince others to share their work —  for the sake of sharing it, and out of simple respect for the creative process.  There is no wrong way to be creative.

So, here I am talking to myself.  

Selfish Poet

By Cynthia Boiter



What are you saving them for


                those pennies in your pocket


                those poems in your chest


A better man, a better day, a better buy?



You can feel them there


                how they rub together


                so tense to jingle


                to make sound


                make song


If not for you, then whom?



No, let them be


                Let them rust


                lose their value


Lose the economic context of their worth



Keep them there


                near the linty tissue


                no holes for escape, sewn tight


Keep them there with your greed



Nothing saved, nothing earned




  1. Hi!
    Nice poetry….nice recent blog posts too! Steve just booked a flight to San Francisco….beginning of May. I’d better not fall and break anything in the City of the Dead! Like you, this is an artistic adventure. Is Stir magazine in physical form….or….like Undefined, is it only on-line?

    Comment by Susan Lenz — March 23, 2009 @ 13:01

  2. I enjoyed reading this very much. It has very well-balanced shorter phrasing and a really nice total structure and ending cadence. Its content is intriguing and its ideas deep and nuanced. Thanks for posting it.

    Comment by Joseph Montoya — March 24, 2009 @ 05:52

  3. Thank you Susan and Joey.

    – Cindi

    Comment by cynthiaboiter — March 24, 2009 @ 06:51

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