Ars Poetica

Heather A. Truett


“Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.”

– Sylvia Plath


I want to be the words that decapitated Emily Dickinson,

made her so cold no fire could warm her.


            I will write scorch marks into the skin

            of a nation, scar its path.


I want to hold ajar the door

to Morley’s madness, scribble

my sea creature diary, flying fantasy

in Sandburg’s air. I will be the echo

that asks the shadow to dance.


I will write a light into the hateful night,

force feed little lives into the daily deaths.


I want to be the “Ahhh”

of Lucille Clifton’s first poem,

da Vinci’s vital truth,

Pablo Neruda’s act of peace.


I will write a war and make it melt,

a snowflake soaking into manmade history.


I want to make Dylan Thomas’s

toenails twinkle, steal T. S.’s soul,

make love to the lightning

Randall Jarrell called to strike.


            I will write the striking blows

            of simple words with target marks.


I want to be born in the bowels

of the ancient wilderness of earth,

midwifed by Mary Oliver and holding

Berry’s hand while I breathe

the unconditional breath.


I will write in that air, ethereal,

tailor the truth to tease and tumble.


I want to be tangled limb

by limb with Sylvia in her silence,

becoming beautiful



            I will write a brand-new Genesis, create

            out of refuse a hallowed Universe.


I want to be

to e. e.

the only thing

that matters


I will write for them

and me

the only things

that matter.



Heather Truett is a mom to teen boys, a student at the University of Memphis, and a slightly heretical pastor’s wife. The Scientific Method of Getting Luckie, her debut novel, releases in 2021.