jackie langetieg | once again I fail to

28 10 2007

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Poetry Dispatch No. 118 | November 3, 2006

Jackie Langetieg is one of Wisconsin’s better/but lesser known poets for all the reasons or excuses any writer may be better at it than those seemingly ‘more successful’ (more acclaim, more books, more invitations to read, etc.) yet remains in the shadows. Some are more comfortable there. Some (many) doubt their own talents. Some are just plain lazy. Some accept obscurity as fate. And some claim ‘writers block’. And may in fact even flaunt it. A term I hate because it’s really just another form of good old fashioned depression, which many writers deal with on a daily basis and sometimes, pushing hard enough, render their deepest blues into art.

Jackie has published any number of times in any number of places. Won her fair share of Wisconsin’s literary awards (will undoubtedly win more) and published her fair share of small books. She has a good following of friends and readers who are always waiting for more. Cross+Roads Press published her book, WHITE SHOULDERS, in 2000 which soon sold out. She’s been through good times, and some extremely bad times when silence seems the only way to address anything. This is a brand new poem. Putting in all down in words the way only Jackie can. Norbert Blei

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Once again I fail to by Jackie Langetieg

keep an important appointment.
It goes into my memoirs
under “Pussy,” excuse number
one million and three.

Instead I call and blame diarrhea
with all the drama of discovering cancer.
I chat a bit, lively lilt inappropriate, add the hope
of a get together before she flies back to her state.

Meanwhile my state has improved
I can sit in my own disarray another day
surrounded by good intentions and small bowls
filled with shame without regret.

The cats show their approval by jumping
onto my lap instead of the tables, head-butting
and wet-nosing my cheek instead of whacking
everything from the table to the floor.

I briefly remember the girl I used to be
become the woman I still try to be;
she bet her life on beating down the urges
to fill up any chapter not titled integrity.

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