At the Poetry Reading (A Poem by Kelly Belmonte)


“I am a writer. When I am grappling with ideas which are radical enough to upset grownups, then I am likely to put these ideas into a story which will be marketed for children because children understand what their parents have rejected and forgotten.” – Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water

At the Poetry Reading

by Kelly Belmonte

They always ask
Where do the ideas come from?

As if I knew. As if ideas
come from a zip code
a petting zoo
the tree house in the woods
behind my childhood home.

As if ideas could take a bus north
from Brooklyn, or hitchhike
from Albuquerque until
they find themselves
at the grocery store
down the street
in the bargain bin.

If I told them the truth, they’d never believe it.
I hardly believe it myself,
the magic.

So I lie by omission
with facts. I tell them
I was sitting at my desk
(or in the comfy chair or on my bed)

When I saw a
{fill in the blank}

And it made me think of
{fill in the blank}

So I started writing
And this is what came out…

They seem satisfied with that answer
the way my Dalmatian is satisfied
after he scratches at the tick
on his backside.



Featured image by Tom Darin Liskey

kelly belmonteKelly Belmonte has been writing poetry for over 30 years and blogging for ten (mostly at Important poetic influences have included Kobayashi Issa, R.M. Rilke, Marge Piercy, Malcolm Guite, Frank Gaspar, and many other fine poets. Her work has been published in Atlas Poetica, Relief Journal, The Literary Nest, Open: Journal of Arts & Literature, and Ruminate, and included in The Word in the Wilderness (Canterbury Press, 2014) and Love, Remember (Canterbury Press, 2017). She also contributed a chapter on the poetry of C.S. Lewis to Women and C.S. Lewis (2015), a collection of interviews and essays on the theme of Lewis and women in his life and writings. Kelly’s two poetry chapbooks, Three Ways of Searching (2013) and Spare Buttons (2014), are published by Finishing Line Press.