Lives of the Poets

They rubbed two sticks together and made friction.
They made a fist but couldn’t make a hand.
Their dictionary wasn’t made of diction.
Their diction made them hard to understand.

Trying to make a poem, they made a list.
Trying to make the team, they made the choir.
They made up stories whose protagonist
would rub two sticks together and make fire.

Mistakes were made, and mixtapes to go with them.
They made a couch their bed and made their bed.
They tried to make a joke at the expense
of love and money. “Make me,” money said.
They made up stories but they made no sense.
They rubbed two cents together and made rhythm.

Eric McHenry

Eric McHenry

Eric McHenry is an associate professor of English at Washburn University and a past poet laureate of Kansas. His books of poetry include Odd Evening, a finalist for the Poets’ Prize; Potscrubber Lullabies, which received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a collection of children’s poems illustrated by Nicholas Garland. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with his wife and two children.
Eric McHenry

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Author: Eric McHenry

Eric McHenry is an associate professor of English at Washburn University and a past poet laureate of Kansas. His books of poetry include Odd Evening, a finalist for the Poets’ Prize; Potscrubber Lullabies, which received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a collection of children’s poems illustrated by Nicholas Garland. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with his wife and two children.