Happy Ideas

By Mary Szybist Mary Szybist
I had the happy idea to fasten a bicycle wheel
to a kitchen stool and watch it turn.                  
duchamp
I had the happy idea to suspend some blue globes in the air

and watch them pop.

I had the happy idea to put my little copper horse on the shelf so we could stare at each other
all evening.

I had the happy idea to create a void in myself.

Then to call it natural.

Then to call it supernatural.

I had the happy idea to wrap a blue scarf around my head and spin.

I had the happy idea that somewhere a child was being born who was nothing like Helen or
Jesus except in the sense of changing everything.

I had the happy idea that someday I would find both pleasure and punishment, that I would
know them and feel them,

and that, until I did, it would be almost as good to pretend.

I had the happy idea to call myself happy.

I had the happy idea that the dog digging a hole in the yard in the twilight had his nose deep in
mold-life.

I had the happy idea that what I do not understand is more real than what I do,

and then the happier idea to buckle myself

into two blue velvet shoes.

I had the happy idea to polish the reflecting glass and say

hello to my own blue soul. Hello, blue soul. Hello.

It was my happiest idea.

Mary Szybist, "Happy Ideas" from Incarnadine. Copyright © 2013 by Mary Szybist.  Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press. www.graywolfpress.org

Source: Incarnadine (Graywolf Press, 2013)

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Poet Mary Szybist

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, Life Choices, Desire, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture

 Mary  Szybist

Biography

Mary Szybist grew up in Pennsylvania. She earned degrees from the University of Virginia and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. Her first collection of poetry, Granted (2003), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the winner of the 2004 Great Lakes Colleges Associations New Writers Award.  Her second book, Incarnadine (2013), won the National Book Award for Poetry. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Desire, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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