182: Writing a Poem

182: Writing a Poem

182: Writing a Poem

Writing a Poem
by Shirley Geok-lin Lim

Read the automated transcript.

The air is buzzing. Some one near by
is operating a giant machine. He’s scrubbing
a just sold building with a high-
powered hose. None of us are listening,

although we are each hopeless before
the dizz-dizz-dizz. If it was a monstrous
radiated beetle, we couldn’t be more
helpless. It’s eating up the hours

as if they were the sweet nectar of day,
which they are. It is impossible
to think or write. Its buzz takes away
feelings, takes over ears, is drilling a hole

in a loose tooth as you sit in history’s
dental chair, frantic and still, the drill
hammering the gums until only
spit oozes, dribbles, spills over, fills

cavities you didn’t know you had,
only the drill lives in your head
only the dull sharp dizz-dizz-dizz.
This is how the poem ends, dizz-dizz….

“Writing a Poem" by Shirley Geok-lin Lim from WALKING BACKWARDS by Shirley Geok-lin Lim, copyright © 2010 West End Press. Used by permission of the poet.