A poet inevitably faces the question of how much to reveal. A “reveal” is also the final stage of a magician’s show, the part designed to elicit the audience’s amazement. If it is permissible  for a magician to hide behind illusion, costume and craft, is it also fine (or even possible) for a poet?




the magic poet pulls

purple metaphors

from her

black top hat,

scarlet stories

from her ear,

while twisting

prestidigititorial syntax

beneath her coat

for the brilliance

of her reveal


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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

22 thoughts on “Hidden”

  1. Prestidigititorial syntax! Now that’s a complex slight-of-sound. I certainly hope it’s fine for a poet to hide or slip behind illusion. You’ve touched on the magic of poetry and language itself. The gathering and composing of letters into words into clusters into images in the open mind of readers… It’s been awhile since I’ve written – you’ve certainly inspired!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, how about that “prestidigitatorial”? It was just too tempting to pass up. As always, thanks for reading and commenting on my work. I did notice that you hadn’t posted anything recently, but it’s very difficult to keep constantly coming up with new work, isn’t it? I’ve slowed down posting over recent weeks because I just haven’t been able to get any one of several poems in progress to “catch fire.” I look forward to whenever you have something to share.

      And thanks for letting me know about the audio file. I’ll see if there is a problem on my end. I definitely want you to hear my pronunciation of “prestidigitatorial” since it took me several tries before I could get my tongue from spasming


  2. Michael, for some reason you’re audio didn’t work for me. I thought it might be my browser, as I’ve switched over to Opera, but I just listened to the audio on someone else’s post, so perhaps something is amiss with yours. Just thought I’d let you know (I really wanted to hear you reading Prestidigitorial syntax).


    1. L.T., thank you. It’s so interesting, as you know, to post a poem and then discover how readers interpret it. I do think that poets can choose language that offers the possibility of multiple interpretations, but the reader’s own background and experiences play a part, too. So we throw the ingredients in a pot, stir, simmer, and see what happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This one had me spinning around a few times Michael. When the dust settled what came to mind is how often the “reveal” when writing a poem is something I haven’t even seen myself until the poem reveals it to me. I may think I’m writing about something else entirely. Fine, fun poem Michael.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jana, I recently attended a writer’s conference where the poetry workshop leader was Jessica Piazza, a marvelous poet and teacher. In one session she discussed how transparency, translucency, and opacity can be used in poetry. In “Hidden” I was playing with those concepts.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Insightful comments, Michael…yours and theirs…for “Hidden.” Wondering how Emily and Walt would respond in Word Press. Thinking…Emily lamented writing to a world that never wrote to her. Thinking…we’re very fortunate.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bonnie, that’s an interesting thought, Emily and Walt on Word Press. It is true that we can reach readers more easily than ever. And comments, such as yours, can be interesting, informed, and insightful.


  5. A perfect arrangement of words! I thought it was very interesting how you used colours and hues that absorb light in order to produce a brilliant reveal. It adds depth to the poem, creates contrast and makes me wonder how much brightness is hidden in the darkest of places.


    1. It’s hard to remember when our only connection with poetry is through reading it silently to ourselves, but,as you know, poetry as performance seems to have been around for a long time. Do you get the chance to read your work in front of an audience? It’s something I should do more often.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. No, I don’t. I am pretty bashful about that. But I need to get over it — at least a little. Because as you say poetry as performance is its whole history (kinda).

        Liked by 1 person

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