Ani Tuzman – “Wanting Words”

Do I want words the way I should want God?
Willing to give up everything for one enormous gulp
as if words were my air? Dying to lose myself
to a luscious swim in deep ideas,
to a board-whacking dive into the heart of things—
any sacrifice for the sensuousness of my pen on paper?

The sun sets, crickets chant. No one is waiting for
me to make dinner, phone calls, or love. I imagine
nothing else but my next words. Would I give up
any aspiration, appointment, meal, conversation,
love affair, parent-teacher conference, shopping trip,
vacation, compliment, heart-to-heart, anything and
all things, for a great poem? For a lip-smacking
steady toward the climax, mind-blowing orgasm of
words—a banner, ribbon, river, continent, a ship
of words, a bridge, an arc, a horizon of words?

Shouldn’t I pant after God this way? God’s breath
on my neck? God’s gaze? The subtle thrill
of God’s embrace, taking me into the space
beyond wanting where I am so filled with silence
I do not even think about words?

Or do I meet God
in my words? God celebrating God.
Am I the poem? Yearning only to know
the One who writes me?


Ani Tuzman – “Wanting Words” — 33 Comments

  1. These words are an eloquent expression of the yearning of a writer to find God in her words, and her words in God. I love the way Ani has brought this together in such a resonant way.

    • Yes, you heard it—and also, it seems, felt the poem. As I wrote to Joan above, it is such a fulfillment when the offering of a poem is embraced and there is “resonance,” as you wrote. Thank you, Chris!

  2. Thank you, Tricia, for pausing to read this poem. In our busy lives, it is so easy to move from activity to activity. To read a poem requires slowing down, resting in the poem, resting in ourselves. Thank you for doing that!

  3. Wonderful, easy to stay engaged with.. poem, Ani. Got me thinking about the great mysteries and the pure pleasure of lively inquiry about being human. Thank you for slowing us down, making us smile and wonder.

    • “Got me thinking about the great mysteries and the pure pleasure of lively inquiry about being human”…. Love that line, Alisande. So good to slow down and wonder, isn’t it? Thank you for reading and for sharing your experience!

  4. Ani, what a profound and honest poem. Sometimes I am in love with what I write as if it were a better me. And, I believe, this “better me” is What We truly Are Egos aside, as your poem notes, we are the poem that Oneness writes. Thanks for reminding me.

    • Frank, how could I have missed your comment earlier?! I love what you said: “Sometimes I am in love with what I write as if it were a better me.”

      An “honest poem,” you also wrote. In the process of writing this poem, I discovered and revealed more of me. In fact, this poem started out in my journal and stayed there a long time. It was so revealing, I thought I would never share it. And here it is. Again, thank you, Jill!

  5. Marianne, a big thanks is owed to Jill Jepson, the editor of The Whirlwind Review for creating a venue for poetry that dares to speak of spirit so openly and outrageously! :-) This same poem was surely a bit much for some other venues.

    • Thank you, Rochelle!

      I was reading the poem aloud (to myself, no one home :-) and I could feel the passion moving through my body as I read. Made me smile. I love when that happens, even though the poem was written a couple years back. It remains alive. Thanks for taking the time to read it and comment!

    • Arthur, thank you! I see that you are a poet, so you must know that joy of not knowing where a poem will lead one. The writing itself takes one on a journey, so I, too, was moved by where it went. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Ah, Nancy–thank you! We meet again—here in cyberland! Am so glad that you read and enjoyed this poem! I just was thinking–we who love to write, will write anyway–like that tree that falls in the forest whether anyone is listening or not, but what a sweet blessing when someone is here to witness the sound….. xo

  6. Wallace Stevens, one of my favorite poets said: “After one has abandoned a belief in god, poetry is that essence which takes its place as life’s redemption”

          • Thank you, Chris, for that quote, for your comment and, again, to you, Jill, for this wonderful home online: a literary journal, “dedicated to the intersections of writing and spirituality,” as you so beautifully describe it!

            I recently sent out the poem, a link to Whirlwind Review and a recording of me reading WANTING WORDS to my mailing list and also posted a link to that email on FB. A number of friends have thanked me for letting them know about Whirlwind Review. THANK YOU, for your efforts, Jill, to sustain the journal.

  7. Pingback: Wanting Words a poem by Ani Tuzman | Dance of the Letters

Leave a Reply