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Swings between two poles

Instructions, exactly

Take this medicine
on an empty stomach
preferably half to one hour
before breakfast. Take this

medicine with a full glass
of water. Take this medication
at least four hours before
taking antacids, iron

or vitamins
or minerals
or supplements.
Take or use this medicine

exactly as directed. Do not
skip doses or discontinue
unless directed by your
doctor. Take this

medicine exactly
as directed.
Do not skip

- Drew Myron

This is a found poem. A whole text, lifted from my medicine bottle and reformed — with line breaks providing places to pause — into art.

Some days material is at every turn: in newspapers, dictionaries, speeches, textbooks, manuals. Find poetry in the everyday, I often say.

With this avalanche of words, I usually lift and rearrange (a collage poem is born!), or sometimes I simply erase, but on rare days a poem is whole-cloth and sitting on my bathroom sink.

The found poem, according to the Academy of American Poets, shares traits with Pop Art, such as Andy Warhol's soup cans. Poetry, like art, is the invention of reinvention. In Mornings Like This, a collection of found poems, Annie Dillard says that turning a text into a poem doubles that poem's context. The original meaning remains intact, she writes, but now it swings between two poles.

Swings between two poles.

Yes, poetry holds that sort of magic — the mysterious ability to say one thing while reaching for another. 


Reader Comments (4)

I see you're back at it. Nicely done, as usual. It's always good to see your words. Perhaps I will find a poem this week.

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrish

Thanks Trish. Good to see you here. And yes, please, find a poem. Some days they are EVERYWHERE (to make up for, I think, the long stretches when they are deep in hiding).

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Very much enjoyed reading this poem - and the whole post. Have enjoyed "poking around" a little in your blog!

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjanetld

Hi Janet -
Thanks so much for reading and responding. I like your blog, too -- always appreciate the concise beauty of short form poetry.

September 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterDrew

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