It always begins
like indigestion,
slowly at first,
then full bore.
Either way,
I need relief.

But no antacid
can abort a poem
so I have to stop
and take dictation.

I’m no Matthew, Mark
Luke or John.
They wrote the Gospels
by Divine Inspiration.
I’m on my own. And so
when words cascade

I grab my quill.
I have no choice.
I have to stop
and take dictation.

Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Poetry Super Highway, Pirene's Fountain (Australia), Public Republic (Bulgaria), and other publications.

The title of the poem came long after the poem was written. I often find that if a poem does languish without acceptance, it will be accepted quickly if I affix a title that perhaps makes the intent of the poem more understandable or acceptable to an editor. I suspect the title helps to "market" a poem that may otherwise be labyrinthine in its meaning. For example, I have had editors accept poems they felt were humorous while to me they were very serious.


Copyright 2009