I don’t do long-form poems. I could cite several more or less justifiable reasons for this—poetry is an avocation, not a profession, for me. I fit it in between my paying career, my kids, my divorce, and my lovers. I lack the patience, the focus, and the luxury for long form. Shit, I don’t even have space to read them, let alone do the work it must take to write one.
Still, I differentiate among the poems I write between what I call “small poems” and, well, what I don’t call small poems.
Some small poems are short (like “pines,” which was published by Four and Twenty, a journal that takes only very short verse); others aren’t. So while size matters, that’s not the sum of it.
Some small poems address superficial topics. These are not meant to be change-your-life poems. But they aren’t necessarily funny or light verse, either.
Sometimes, small poems are the ones that came fast and left just as suddenly. My sense of their smallness is based on the time I spent with them, and I just can’t answer for their origin or reason for existing. I mean, if I didn’t work for it—and I work hard for most of my poems—then can I really call it mine?
But isn’t it true that the door must open a crack first before it can swing wide?
Maybe I should call them gateway poems.