Given that I love metapoems and wordplay, it was inevitable, I suppose, that I write a poem titled “Poet-tree,” but not inevitable that it look like a tree. I stumbled across another poem with the same title, and it had the standard left justification. Some poems, however, lend themselves to more creative formats. It’s a matter of feeling out the poem as it takes shape on the page and seeing if it wants to literally take shape. Once it has, shifting it back is like letting the air out of a tire–it’s still a tire, but now it’s flat.

This poem was my first to be published, in the Summer 2015 issue of The Caterpillar, a quirky Irish fiction/poetry/art magazine for children. Peace to your ♥ !


when I feel quiet,
I take a handful of adjectives
I found on the ground, stick them
to a noun I had stored in a drawer
(some verbs knock at the door—
I ignore them), and I make myself
a poet-tree I can sit under,
and I

© Stephanie Malley