Name: Kelly Morton
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Current City: Philadelphia, PA
Occupation: Bookkeeper (literally and figuratively) and Energyworker
What does poetry mean to you?
Poetry to me is the ability to take words like fruit and peel them of their rinds so that only the juice and pulp are left, the part that you can really taste. I love how poetry can get to the heart of a feeling or situation with an economy that’s not austere, but rather expansive. When I’m bogged down in the world of prose I love to take a break and read poetry, to see how something that might take a novelist a good three paragraphs to describe a poet can bullseye with five or six words.
Favorite Ginsberg lines chalked on the streets of Paris.
Why do you like this poem?
I love that there is a direct sensuality to the poem but also a spiritual element that brings to mind the poetry of Rumi and Hafiz—their love poems to God. The line that kills me the most is "Be mad or chill, / obsessed with angels / or machines, / the final wish / is love." This reminder that at their core, everyone wants to be loved. No matter how independent or abrasive or unpleasant someone might seem, no matter what preoccupies their time and energy.
These two were my runner ups: 1) "To All My Mariners in One" by Samuel Hazo, who was the first poet laureate of Pennsylvania. I ran across this poem in the Central Library in Philly because there was a display in honor of his work. This poem nailed me to the floor for a good 10 minutes.