work: an ode for the human micropoem*

one has to have
a reason for living
a guiding philosophy
a purpose
a goal

the best way
to communicate
an idea
is to act it out

no work
no eat

i want to have something to say
about my own destiny
something i care about
something of value
something important

*Coda: The Human Micropoem is a call and response choral form. It amplifies the speaker’s words by those listening. The poet says a line aloud and then everyone repeats it. Micropoeming was collectively devised by Chicago writers during the Occupy Movement of 2011. We continue to perform together in public spaces and hold the words of others in our mouths.

Copyright © 2021 by Jennifer Karmin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 20, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.