J.R. Solonche


A poet I know showed me a letter
he got from a reader in which this
reader complained that his poems
weren’t universal enough, and this so
frustrated the reader (who called himself
“a communicant not being communicated
with”) that he wrote the letter to him,
and the poet I know thought about
the reader’s complaint for a long while
(this being the first letter he had ever
gotten from a reader) during which time
he wrote several new poems, and as he
was writing these new poems, he thought
of his communicant who wasn’t being
communicated with, thought of him as his
one and only reader of these new poems,
and when he finally answered the letter
those months later, he wrote only, “Our
atoms spin on moral poles,” and he didn’t sign
it either, but he burned those new poems
he wrote during that time because he said
he couldn’t bear to know that even though
he knew he wrote them, he also knew that
they weren’t his, that he really didn’t write
them at all, but the letter he showed me
from the reader he published as a poem
in a prestigious magazine under his own name.

J.R. Solonche is author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions), Heart’s Content (Five Oaks Press), Invisible (Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (Deerbrook Editions), and In Short Order (forthcoming from Kelsay Books).