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wFriday, April 13, 2007


What's In National Poetry Month For Me?

I'm tired of being the guy
Who goes to work in a tie every morning
Letting all the people who don't share my skin color know
"Sorry, Charlie! Gentrification a-comin'!"

And I'm tired of poetry events with eight people in the audience,
Tired of poetry books with four poems worth reading in them,
Tired of all the readings, books, and journals
That exist mainly to tell us how tired of everything all the famous
poets are.
But I'm tired above all else of American politics and its one lesson:
Look out for number one. Case in point:
What's in National Poetry Month for me?

What are these interminable group readings,
These commemorative posters, these e-mail bombardments
Supposed to do for the poetry that makes *my* balls tighten?

Poetry that is as *there*
As this war
And this economy
And these governments,

Zombie poetry? Pirate poetry?
Ninja poetry?
Coffee bacon donut poetry?

Is there a single poem published in America since the war began,
And I'm not counting Chicks Dig War and I Loved My Father
Which being laser beams of death to indifference
Can hardly be counted as poems, but is there any American poem
Again I'm not thinking of PoemFone or Folly or Deer Head Terrorist
Snake Penises
any poem as
Dark Brandon Neo-Benshi Sockittoya Gods All Suck Real Americans
satisfyingly greasy as a donut?
Again not speaking of Mainstream Poetry Dickinson Ghostbrain Good One
murderous as a stealth swordsman
didn't think so.

And this poem is just as lame as the others,
And I don't even have google as an excuse

Its lameness is my lameness

Which is legion even in the land of lame-os poetryland has turned into
Having actually always already been that hello Larry Fagin hello David
Hello Oscar Williams hello Fitz-Greene Halleck!

Poetryland has always been a blotter
For number-one-or-nothingism
And an incomprehensible annihilating resentment
Which is general among all who dare stray there,
Who dares imagine to make something out of nothing but words.

National Poetry Month, you hold up an enormous magnifying mirror
To these symptom-ravaged faces
And encourage more smiling and polite applause
And I admire your sense of humor
But all the same, fuck off.

[This poem was funded in part by a grant from the Helena Rubenstein Foundation.]

posted by Jordan #