I have been putting together an application for the MFA program in Creative Writing at MSU-M (the state university in Mankato, MN). It requires me to put together 10 pages of poetry along with a short “artist’s statement.” I’m trying to put together all-new material and presently have about six which are near completion. Here’s one which has gone through only about two edits. Rather raw, but I’ll have to send some things in that are not as complete as I’d like in order to at least let them know what I’m driving at. The first time I’ve felt I’m writing a group of poems together which have a relationship among them.
This man is not the man
he claims he is and you are
instructed not to listen to him.
He will say he’s seen creation,
that he’s a time traveler and more.
This man has traveled through time
at the expense of his compos mentis.
He has climbed the south shoulder
of this valley because he believes in a better self.
He will try to convince you that he dreamed
he was a crow, flying above the prairie,
above tall grass and oaks, looking for green foothills.
The bird he says he was in a dream:
in that creation his strongest claim
is he broke a consensus amid
a conference of birds. He used his voice
to raise the golden eagle in kingship,
proclaiming heights he would never find.
The crow says his piece, and sets himself
against owls to the last generation.
What measures disappointment
in a man who says he is a bird
that can teach through squawked stories?
The purple of the mountains is not
within sight and this man-bird
cannot fly high enough
to bring back fire.
And this black-winged subject of the king
will wake and find he is walking downhill.
Or worse, driving a black car
to his home at the bottom of the valley.