The little girl I sometimes care for
told me about one of her lessons
in class today.
“There was a handout on poetry,”
she said.
“Oh,” I smiled, “I know a little something about poetry.”
“What?” She asked
and I said “I dunno.
“What was in the handout?”

“Some terms we should know,”
she replied,
“like stanza, and line
and rhyme and –
what is meter again?”
“Dadada dadada dada?” I suggested.
“Right, but what is it?”
“The rhythm of the words, I think.
I don’t know the terms all that well.”
“Well, then,” she wondered,
“What kind of poet are you, anyway?”
“You ask the good questions,” I responded.

I’m an unlearned poet.
I’m an autodidact poet.
I’m a standup poet.
I’m an ADD poet
or a short attention span poet, or –
I’m a prolific poet.
I’m a repetitive poet.
I’m a prose poet.
I’m concrete poet.
I’m a good poet.
Am I a good poet?
Am I really a poet at all
just because I call myself one?
Does it actually work that way?

I turned from my reverie
and faced the girl.
She really did ask good questions.
“You learn anything else today?”

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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