Ides of March

by Rachel Green
The Write Idea
, April 2019
Judged by Melissa Studdard


keep it
only if it brings joy
Mari Kondo’s methods
to reduce clutter
expand living space
becomes an inspiration
the two-suitcase method of living
(as featured on Derry Girls)
but what if you’re an artist?
Boxes of paint don’t bring joy
(though a pot of clean brushes does)
nor does a roll of bare canvas
or the old easel I lost in a house move
(lost joy, there, though my partner hated it)
and what of the poems I wrote
when I was infatuated with Vicky?
They were a bit crap, really,
but it was a good time to be alive


“Ides of March” derives its power from an increasingly irreverent tone that gathers momentum as it moves down the page, culminating in three really terrific closing lines. The examination of what brings joy and what does not is really fantastic. Ultimately, the answers are not obvious—the boxes of paint don’t bring joy to the artist, but the lousy poems do because of the feeling they recall—a joyful stretch of infatuation. --Melissa Studdard