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For National Poetry Month: A poem from Richard Pflum

A Little Self-Indulgence
by Richard Pflum

Everybody writes, but nobody wants to write it. “Too much work,”
they say. Everybody’d rather just speak it out now. Get it out of their
system. Because everything depends on how one feels now, not to-
morrow or yesterday but inside this very exact microsecond. And besides,
to write, one might really have to read their own text silently when what
one really wants is to hear his own voice—whatever sound that makes,

wants to flap his arms, look everyone straight in the eye so all might
accept his music, this huge bone of abandon—brutally inserted.
One doesn’t really care how anyone feels about it. After all, he is the
Artist. The audience is unimportant, has only its own sense of hierarchy
so he must meld his dependence into their esteem or any fanaticism
he can provoke to add to his own sense of importance to their universe.

For as with any Artist all he wants from an audience anyway, is that
they hear his howls of ecstasy imbedded in these screams of pain.

Bio: Richard Pflum is a native of and now lives in Indianapolis. He is the author of three full-length books of poetry, A Dream of Salt (The Fredrick Brewer Press, now The Raintree Press, Bloomington, Ind., 1980), A Strange Juxtaposition of Parts (The Writers’ Center Press, Indianapolis, 1995), and Some Poems to Be Read Out Loud (Chatter House Press, Indianapolis, 2013). He has appeared in Tears in the Fence (U.K.), The Flying Island, The Reaper, Exquisite Corpse, PlopLop, Hopewell Review, and Kayak. He also has a poems in the anthologies The Indiana Experience (Indiana University Press, 1977) and A New Geography of Poets (University of Arkansas Press, 1992), and two poems in The New Laurel Review (1999), and a poem in Glass Works (Pudding House, 2002). On the Internet, he can be found on the archive of PoetryNet, Poet of the Month, October 2003. He is the host of Evening With the Muse, a monthly reading and open mic of the Indiana Writers Center.

Editor’s note: Indiana Poet Laureate George Kalamars interviews Richard Pflum