“Revising the Poem”–Richard Luftig

His voice was once
all italics, bold-faced
type, capitals, bullets,
the odd ellipses, complete
with the counting
of syllables, iambs
each heartbeat added.

But later he could only
watch as each plural
became singular, lines
end-stopped by the double
pressure of the years.
How hard it is now
to delete all his adjectives

followed by the names
of people once loved,
so slowly he hardly
notices, until
that most personal
of all pronouns
finally disappears.

RICHARD LUFTIG is a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature and a semi-finalist for the Emily Dickinson Society Award. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States, internationally in Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe, Thailand, Hong Kong, and India.  His poems have been translated into Japanese, Polish, German, and Finnish. One of his published poems was nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Poetry Prize.

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