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wMonday, September 20, 2004


1445

I MEAN POEMS

From Adelaide to Morgantown
They come looking for mean poems.

Poems to deflate a monster truck,
Poems that release little secrets
Like a thousand white mice
At the opening ceremonies of some Viciousness Olympics.

I mean poems.

I don't mean shticky insults
Compiled from a list of adjectives
Shakespeare or Captain Haddock likes.

Art relates the lived experience
That so often comes with feelings,
Thank God. Poems use only words.

Meanness, a rude complicity
With keeping life painful,
Is hard to live with in the day to day.
We know from passing cars
What mean people do.

It makes great theater, though.

A poem is a play you can take anywhere, is it?
What if it isn't. What if poems
Are like those organisms that ran the ocean
For millions of years, just a sheet of cells
A single cell thick.

What if the poetry world
Is basically a less popular version
Of boy scouting.

And poets just transcendence addicts,
As the magazine articles keep tsking.

This would be a mean poem, then.
A poem treating other poems badly,
Seemingly unaware of its tendency
To impute its qualities to others.

Just like everybody else.

You seekers of mean poems,
I hope you get the back rubs, orgasms, and windfalls
You clearly need.

As for me and my poems,
We refuse to stop being cheerful
Or to give up growing.



posted by Jordan #