“Necessity Is the Mother of Invention” by Lisa Meckel

Lisa Meckel


All night I’ve remained awake
thinking how to reinvent myself;
struggled with the wild possibilities
and the desperate impossibilities,
considered how to create this happening.

a reinvention center for overripe women
a spa designed for reclaiming the brain
a salon for the soul
a machine to remind us who we longed to become
a clinic to revision the inner eye
workshops for re-assembling the split heart
a voyage of discovery to stimulate the inner voyeur
a retreat to repair, reorganize, and replace genetic makeup

Which leads me to consider
who invented me in the first place,
who filled my DNA with my own me-ness?
Thus to make myself over again
must I act like a deity once removed?

Or could this notion of reinvention
be really a process of removal,
scraping off the wretched scum
we let life lay on us, on our very self?

If so, then
I must go out into the rain
let those sweet drops wash off
fear of failure from my skin,
let the wind blow hope back into my thoughts,
believe once again in the ultimate mystery of the moon
let the bread be the truth of my table and let the salt sing
of the beauty of daily-ness
allow sunrise to begin the day
know that sunset is inevitable
that the cold night can be warmed by the inner fire
knowing again that the river is never the same river, ever.

from Rattle #19, Summer 2003
Tribute to the Twenty-Minute Poem


Lisa Meckel: “I have lived with words: as a stage actress; as a first grade teacher who loves to read to young children; as a mother, delighting in my children’s first words; as a young writer who wrote as if to confirm my being. The wonder of a word is that even a small word contains a universe of meaning, experience, and evolution; as if it has a life of its own. It was Perie Longo, poet and teacher, who showed me the way to find my life in poetry. Thank you, Perie.”

Rattle Logo