tagNon-Erotic PoetryAn Ode to Poetry

An Ode to Poetry


Great, beautiful,
majestic lady poetry:
I'm astounded that
(here in the U.S.A.,
this new world of virgin rivers and forests
and opportunities beyond fear)
that you should need
the likes of my wretched, junkie self
to defend you...
but you do

Reverence these days
is for cubicle-land millionaires, Taco Bell kings
for those fortunately employed
overseeing the rapine of our seas
and in the "air-defenses" industry

I live in an Oregon city
once revered for the liberal arts:
ever since I went to university here
you see,
I went to poetry readings and open mics
and (aside from the odd real talent)
it wasn't worth a talent

See, odd reader,
"poetry" is not the staid, decrepit thing
you might think it from school:
it's not anti-semitic Gibson's
"to be or not to be"
but black Perrineau's MERCUTIO,
under Leo's arm wounded and dying
"Zounds! Zounds! (hell's hounds)
I'm peppered for this world...
a plague on both your houses!!"

Poetry is not Milton nor Homer
nor these days even Keats:
it's more like Jack Skellington
pulled "helter skelter" into Christmas Land
amazed and ecstatic:
"Oh look, they're hanging mistle-toe:
they kiss? why that looks so unique: !!INSPIRED!!
What's this, in here? They have a little tree:
how queer, and who would ever think? !and why?!
They're covering it with little things
they've got electric lights on strings
This looks like fun!
This looks like fun!
Oh, could it be I got my wish??"

It's like Alanis Morrisette's
"black fly in your Chardonnay:
a death row pardon too minute's too late...
it's like rain on your wedding day,
it's the free-ride when you've already paid,
it's the good advice that you JUST can't take"
and it's not literally "ironic,"
I know

But poetry's not practical math,
marksmanship, or sewing:
it's like Bob Dylan glowing
travelling "on the dark side of the road"

like Paul Newman in "the hustler:"
staring out over broken thumbs
through honest blue, bardic eyes,
disgusted with his double-crossing compatriate,
determined to again duel Minnesota Fats:
the King Philip to his Shakespeare
the Moby Dick to his Kerouacian, beat Ahab

my lady
your very name stirs my haggard blood:
tis industry, sport and art
sublimely and precisely wrapped together

As the six-gun blazing Apache kid
said of his bloodier profession:
"!!It is truly high adventure!!"

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