by Mackenzie Connellee
used to write poetry in art class
when the teacher wasn’t looking,
but now i don’t take art and i can’t
afford not to pay attention in my
classes. now i write poetry in my
free time but that’s difficult
because words don’t appear like
a dog when you call their name, no,
poetry is anything but convenient.
right now it’s 1:05 A.M. because poetry
shook me by the shoulders and said
hey, this is important but now i’m wondering
if the lack of sleep is worth it. i feel
i am always weighing time by the quality
of poems written, because even when
the words grace me with their presence,
they don’t always choose to step
delicately into the world, pink shoes
treading softly over the white horizon.
usually poetry slops lazily over the couch
of a page and dangles while i remove its muddy
shoes and rearrange the pillows, all the while
muttering something about Frost and how maybe
his comments against free verse* were right
all along (poetry in rhyme always cleans up
after itself) although honestly, you haven’t lived
until the homeless free-verse poem on your couch
decides to stay for a cup of tea and, if you’re
lucky, lets you take notes on everything he says.
*Free verse is poetry that does not rhyme or have a set rhythm. In the case of this poem,
you probably noticed that it doesn’t rhyme,
that the lines just run on into the next line,
and that the poet doesn’t follow the rules of capitalization. Robert Frost, one of America’s most famous poets once said, “Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.”
"Mackenzie Connellee-Kozak is a poet living in Asheville, North Carolina. She holds a BA from Wake Forest University and an MFA from UNC-Greensboro, where she served as Poetry Editor of The Greensboro Review. Currently, she is an Associate Editor at Orison Books and Asheville Poetry Review. Her manuscript in place of a mouth & far flung was a finalist for the 2018 National Poetry Series."
She married Thomas Kozak and is now a licensed mental health counselor. They had a musical group called "Thomas Kozak and the Poets". I think it was mostly his deal; their YouTube channel only has two videos and his personal channel just has one. Mackenzie's not in any of them.
I've yet to find a recording, audio or visual,
of Mackenzie reading poetry, but I'll keep looking.