sho The Poetry of Lee Kisling |


This page has been created as a room to share my poetry with anyone who wanders in, so, glad to see you and I hope you feel rewarded, inspired, amused, recognized or something else that is memorable. I am a poet when I am writing a poem. When I’m not writing a poem, I’m something else. I say this partly to avoid the pressure of being a poet which is obnoxious. Sometimes I’m an engineer, sometimes a wood cutter, a cartoonist, a reader, a traveler, a teacher, a daydreamer, a father, husband—all those things.

I enjoy poetry immensely. I have a continuing anthology of poems by others that I admire and reread often. I admire craftsmanship, but only as it serves to clarify feelings, ideas, and stories. I like rhetorical poetry that says, “I wonder if…” or “Why do you suppose…” or “What if…” and I dislike poetry that is so obscure that I end up feeling confused and stupid. I don’t have any delusions of being a great poet and could care less about that.

On the other hand, I’m a serious reader and writer. I typically revise one of my poems dozens of times—sometimes just a word, sometimes fixing line endings, sometimes a major overhaul. I often feel something like ecstasy when the creative energy is high and the poem is just writing itself. Sometimes poems just don’t work and I abandon them like an old stiff pair of gloves.

It has been wonderful beyond description when someone hears or reads one of my poems and feels something like delightful surprise, forgets they are reading a poem and just listens to the voice. Getting a poem published is rewarding and the occasional praise from a reader makes me happy. It is a kind of intimacy.

Ride Lonesome

The cartoons are deceptively bad. Being poorly drawn somehow improves them—now there’s a miracle for you. Why is that horse smoking a pipe? Well, you see, it’s supposed to be a kind of movie poster for a movie called Ride Lonesome and Lonesome is actually the horse’s name. The cowboy and the horse both smoke a pipe because they have a lot in common and they are best friends, you know? Some of my poems have this quality also, being a long explanation of something pretty stupid.

I hope you will subscribe to this website, or send me a message. Subscribers will get an email announcement when new work appears on the page. I’d love to hear from you sometime. Thanks again for showing up!