Making the Cut

You’re young, and your mom cuts the crust off

your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

and then you’re old, and the director is yelling “cut”

and it’s all over.

We can talk about a life cut short but

I’d much rather talk about cutting across the dance floor

in the arms of someone who thinks

you put the stars in the sky.

We can talk about the economy and “cutting corners”

but I’d rather mention shortcuts through

forests that take you to the stream.

Yeah, there are words I omitted saying here,

lines that didn’t quite make the cut,

but what about cutting class

to go to your favorite author’s book signing?

Yeah, I did that, don’t talk to me about

having your ideas cut down, say something

about lawns and fresh-cut grass.

How do you prepare your vegetables and your children?

Do you cut fine or do you cut into pieces –

do you hack or are you tender? –

Do you boil them or just leave them raw?

People will cut you in line,

and cut you off while driving,

but I want to hear a poem about cutting down

the rope they’re about to hang you with.

Paper cuts exist, but so do haircuts –

people can be made new again to your eyes.

Don’t tell me about cutting throats,

let’s talk about cutting loose,

break through the bonds,

cut through them with the scissors that are

just there in your pocket, I promise.

Cut out your favorite quote and tape it to the

wall above your bed, read it every night

before you fall asleep and cut through that darkness

like the fearless Mississippi cuts through this country.

Cut your initials into the trunk of an upside-down tree,

leave a carving behind to tell that your hands were here.

Yeah, you can tell me to cut it out,

you can cut me out of your life,

but I want to cut right down to the bone

and leave no part of this untouched

and I invite you to grab my shaking wrist

and help hold this knife steady.


138 thoughts on “Making the Cut

  1. Brilliant poetry! 😀
    Cut by knife, cut by words..
    Pot of stew, wounded soul.
    Live a life, before chances cut
    Make a living, cut a piece
    Tailor a suit.. 😉

    1. Oh my gosh, this is so nice! And they’re nonexistent at the moment (though I hope not for long) 😉

      Thank you so much for saying this. It means the world to me.

  2. Rereading this poem almost three weeks later and it still retains that freshness of expression…the true test of a great poem. Congratulations, m’dear (am I still allowed to say m’dear?). Now listen to all the voices of the greats behind you saying “do it again and again and…” I will be watching for you; you have met my high standards and I expect greatness from you.

    1. I can’t even say how much I treasure this comment. I plan to come back to it three weeks from now when I need the inspiration to push forward 🙂 Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  3. I’ve read quite a bit herein and I think you are ready. I need you to pay close attention now because I’m going to give you some guidance and the benefit of my 63 years on this Earth that I only wish to god someone could have given me at your dear, tender age. Of course those were different times and today, new opportunities, new possibilities present themselves wholly undreamt of in my youth. And like I said, you’re ready. Trust me, I know talent when I read it.

    First, I need you to take about 20 minutes to read the first half-dozen, very short essays on MultiTouch Fiction at (a WordPress site). That is the only “homework” you will need before you will SOAR.

    Then consider this: a selection of, say, twenty poems, each accompanied by solo violin (perhaps movements of Chopin, Ravel, Satie, Debussy) would make a terrific MultiTouch book for the iPad. You could charge whatever you wanted (I do NOT advocate FREE unless the circumstances are very special) in the “impulse buy” price-point range ($.99 – $4.99) and since Apple requires you to provide a shortened Free Sample/Preview, you should get some decent downloads from the iBooks Store.

    We are told everyday that we need to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. You have an ideal opportunity young lady and, with your talent, you could be one of the first poets to make a mark in this MultiTouch genre. Over 200 million iPad owners are downloading digital products every month. You need to be in this space!

    I will help you if you wish. I do not charge for my advice. My only desire is to help other writers see where the future action will be.

    1. I’ve given this some thought, and I’m interested to know more. The idea appeals to me. What exactly in the process like? I’ve read the posts on the WordPress page, but what are the technicalities of it? Is this your personal project?

      1. Thanks for your responsiveness.

        Yeah, apparently I coined the term…someone had to be first, right? Christ, even my MultiTouch novel VENICE UNDER GLASS (March 2014) is apparently the first example of MultiTouch Fiction for the iPad as well (if you have an iPad, download the Preview/Sample to get some idea of how this new genre looks and reads). There have been adaptations of a few previously-published novels for this new format, but nothing truly MultiTouch Fiction-wise from conception. My first title for the iPad was a picture book for older readers called IN HIS IMAGE (2012). I really don’t like being the pioneer to be honest. But I absolutely love championing the new genre because I have seen the future and it’s a wide-open space for all of us to play in. Later on we’ll all be dead; so, in the vernacular, I’m just going for it!

        On the technical side, iBooks Author is a free program but it only runs on MacOS. The “Made with iBooks Author” titles that include multimedia elements are only supported by the iPad, but as you read at MTF, that’s a HUGE and growing market for your titles. It’s also a great differentiator for the writer/artist.

        By the way, I assumed you played classical music on the violin. Was I right? If so, who are your favorite composers?

Thoughts? I love those.

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