J U N E. 2000

Name or Alias:   J. Bo Williams
Why do you write poetry?   Writing affords me wonderful power over my thoughts.  It's catharsis and direction.  I learn from writing, but sometimes, it helps me to forget.

Why is poetry important to you?    It's fun.  I can play with words the way I used to play with my G.I. Joe's: create the plan, see the "battlefield" from the perspective of narrator and each character, and watch the action unfold as I control that action.  I am the writer, the characters, and the reader.

As a Fiona Apple  fan, can you make a statement that connects you to Fiona and poetry?   My last poem, "the Apple of my Ear," is a tribute to Fiona.

WHO would notice

She wonders as she wanders at the power of the forces that keep her in place
Like radiant beams of moon that shower down upon her beaten face
The ruin of her tears cannot shape the youth into anything that she is not
The only pain she ever could escape invaded her like a disease she'd caught.
Ugly silence, darkened joy and brown eyes discover new power in another me
Who shares my courage and gives rise to a gentle yearning to be free
Inborn beauty stripped away and taught to cherish only that which makes her
Her independence is all but forgot as she is taught what she must seek
The fault of perfect is hidden so deep behind the powdered illusion's veil
All she believes she can do is weep with no faith in a chance to prevail


What price would you pay to know who it is that
You are and forget all the rest?
Why do we pass the judgment that is rightfully ours
To strangers?
We know them better than we know ourselves 
because the only side of myself 
I can see is the reflection
Other people try to tell me who they are but all they can see is who I am not.
I am not
I am not them and I never will be
Completely sure of what that makes me.
Am I finding courage or burying cowardice?
How much of myself can I afford to bury
Because it does not fit into my own perception of 
who I am
Or whom I should become? 
What price do I put on a perfect 


And he offered them to me
Like doves to a god
Tithes to win the favor of the Hero.
I do not know what bothers me most,
The objectification that we practiced so thoughtlessly,
The fact that I was treated with such idolatry,
And encouraged it; or that his gifts
Were not his to give.
Perhaps they were never his to give,
but every last one was
Mine to take. They came to me 
like they knew something I didn't.
Poor friend, I did not reject your tithes to reject you
But simply to intimate myself.
I was not meant to fill my void- for indeed
I have come to enjoy its company-
I was meant to fill another's.
My only heroism. 

all that glitters is glass

A Sword of Gold
Raised not so much in anger as out of Pride. 
The glass warrior is stronger than he needs to be
And weaker than he ever thought, his polished, gloss-like character
A perfect reflection for those above him
To see themselves, 
His perfect, premeditated profile glimmering an impressive image in the eyes
of weaker men,
His two-edge sword brought down with all his might 
Would bend upon my bone; 
His stoic jaw would crack and bleed
And shatter, with the touch of my hand,
Shatter to dust beside the piles of golden plowshares,
Lost in the sands.

the apple of my ear

A seeming mastery of -- or perhaps,
immunity to rhythm,
A bold and gentle iconoclast that sparks my appreciation for tradition.
An honesty that tends to deceive my favor
A soulful taste of what I could not describe on my own
But in my own voice, only more dulcet.
Not a need, not a desire, not a not
Only an essence, a being, an existence -- 
uniquely reaching
Like a snare of perfect rapture
Wrapping me up in a mystery -- appetizing creation