Friday, 18 March 2022

This month, the 91st Moon Prize goes to Melanie Zipin's poem "Move."


by Melanie Zipin

going at your own pace
            in your own words—
feels so right
more than right
beatific­— divine

but then,
you share it

it’s easy to say don’t
but you want to
some part of you
needs to

and then,
(with the best intentions)
your step might be better
slightly faster—
or slower…

maybe it needs a bit more
of this, a slight dash
of that

a step to the right
is a straighter path
but left,
and then a few steps back
might be better still

make it clearer

they’re trying to help
but you discover
that felt
so right
to you
so connected
between you
and all
that sustains you
is somehow
or, at the least,
not right—

and now,
you Can’t Move
you’re twisted
because you want to,
you really, really want to
get it right

is their right
than your right?
because, if it is
you want to
see it
you have to
feel it
you need to

you try to
change you
you rearrange you
alter your step
revise your tone

but that doesn’t
fit right either
now, everything
is out of order
and steeped
in doubt
you’re not sure
whose voice
to listen to
there’s no clear path
no way out
you Can’t Move

it’s easy to say
to your own
but we rely
on each other
and everyone
has intuition
a sense and sensibilities
they just don’t all
come from the same place
at the same time

so many ways
to think about it
nature, nurture
big things don’t matter
little things are beasts
and now, I can’t breathe
so now,
I Can’t Move

have you felt this?
you were dancing,
sometimes, flying
falling, flailing,
laughing, weeping,
gathering every bit
and rolling on
putting the pieces
into pictures
in ways
that felt to you
that meant to you
that spoke to you

but now,
you Can’t Move
you can’t decide
which way to go
which pieces
should stay
which pieces
should go
if the order
is ‘right’

if you should listen
to the ones
who said,
go up
or down
or over
or under
or less
is more
fill in every hole
so we don’t miss
leave gigantic holes
so we can leap
and feel like bounds
discover new
break the rules

how much to take
how little to leave

it’s a blurred
murky and shadowed
always someone
looking over

a squillion decisions
even more unimagined

just one
whispered or vociferous
infinitesimal or titanic
in any direction
face to the sun
or head in the clouds
eyes open, or closed
spinning or still

to start
where I am

at my own pace
in my own words

* * * * *

Finding beauty, even solace, in the everyday, multi-media artist, Melanie Zipin, composes her musings from the material that surrounds her. Taking an early departure from her inner-city roots, the high deserts of New Mexico provide ample opportunity for such an introspective watcher. Her writings are an amalgamation of joy and sorrow, reflecting on the commonality of our individual contrast.

Zipin has one son and lives with her husband, far from the concrete, thankful for the rainwater that sustains them, in a house they built from hand-piled mud, where she makes art and music, and writes and writes and writes.

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