I Have a Vision for My Poems

a found poem: The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I am forever rust-tongued—
my poems

dull turgid mush. Time
is green-eyed & spite-seething—

too alive, too tough.
It creaks under my foot

with malice
doesn’t wait for me

to prepare better rhythms
or calculate gem-bright details.

It is archaic & jealous
and so I write

quiet poems with a puritan
heart. What I need?

To rewrite a poem
so it is bigger, freer, stranger

than light
& somehow as righteous.

Nazifa Islam is the author of the poetry collections Searching for a Pulse (Whitepoint Press, 2013) and Forlorn Light: Virginia Woolf Found Poems (Shearsman Books, 2021). Her poems have appeared in Tupelo QuarterlyGulf CoastThe Missouri ReviewThe Believer, and Beloit Poetry Journal among other publications. She earned her MFA at Oregon State University. You can find her @nafoopal.

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