Poem of the Week, by Joy Harjo

My poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

Think up a person, I tell the zoom room, like a toddler with wild red curls. Hands go up. People emerge. Now give me an object, like a ceramic pit bull. Objects appear. We write them all down, column A and column B. Now put one from each column together and write down what happens.

Ten minutes later, everyone reads aloud what they wrote. We lean forward to listen, clap, nod, laugh. Witnesses to unknown people and unknown worlds that instantly conjured themselves into being.

My fingers have spent their lives clattering across the keyboard, conjuring up worlds. What’s real? What’s not? Is there a difference? This poem feels so familiar.

The Poem I Just Wrote, by Joy Harjo

The poem I just wrote is not real.
And neither is the black horse
who is grazing on my belly.
And neither are the ghosts
of old lovers who smile at me
from the jukebox.

For more information about Joy Harjo, our current poet laureate, please click here.


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