I am so fortunate to be a part of this writing community in Milwaukee, and get to lead two amazing writing roundtables. Sometimes, in rare months, my once a month Thursday evening group (6:30- 9:00 pm) is followed by my Friday morning group (9:30- 12 noon). When this happens, I often joke about how it feels as if I’ve slept in the school room.
And, perhaps, in some form or manner, I have? Certain poems take us back in time, to places in our youth, in our previous lives that we’ve perhaps blocked, or not thought about for years. Hunting? Cycling? Skateboarding? Maybe you tried something once and didn’t like it. Maybe your parents picked up a sport, say downhill skiing, and you’d have rather been on a beach in San Diego.
Today I read Aaron Smith’s “What’s Required.” On the surface, this poem is narrative, straight forward, and melancholy. Men are animals, so complex, and multi-layered. And this poem then, too, has depth and rare brave exposure. A refreshing, stark glimpse into what drives that rare species known as Man:
Did you ever kill an animal? What was that like? Is there some childhood activity you forgot about until experiencing a poem or story?