My poem, “Rust,” debuted at Sledgehammer this week.

It reads a lot better if you’re familiar with “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams.

“Rust” is actually a piece I wrote a very long time ago, and was originally titled “Poem Written on a Taco Bell Napkin,” because it was. I think I was basically still just a kid at the time I wrote it, having some sort of a rebellious response to poetry analysis.

(That’s how rock n’ roll I am: my teen rebellion manifested as poetry.)

I’ve clearly gotten over my aversion to Williams, if I ever really had one to a poet I didn’t understand at the time I wrote “Rust.” I’d put him on my Mt. Rushmore of American poets, easily.

It doesn’t make me a particularly interesting poet to say I still hold to the Williams edict that there are “no ideas but in things.” That means “The Red Wheelbarrow” remains important to how I understand poetry should work.

But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be moved to the shed when the weather gets bad.

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