…the words here deployed are equivalent to blanks in a loaded gun: they make the same sound but do not pierce us in any way.


Alyssa Pelish



I have begun feeling this way about my poetry. The only folks who seem pierced by my poems are the ones who hear them from my lips or, lacking proximity, in the voice their minds’ ears have labeled as mine. Either way, it’s about connection. Connection with me, not the words themselves. Knowing me and believing they understand the genesis of those poems allows the words to matter.


Maybe this just means my words are not the right ones. Perhaps it means that most of us only allow people to pierce us; we don’t allow ideas to do the same.





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