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Copyright Jordan Davis.


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wFriday, April 13, 2007


That Would Be A Great Poem If You Cut the Crappy Parts

God I love your poems, what you're doing
You are on to something completely original
And yet reassuringly familiar, emotionally anyway

I know it's the hardest thing in the world
To know when you're on or not
Everybody from Kant to Paul Valery to Phyllis Diller says so

Look, here's my card, I do a little private consulting
It's not very svengali or master-slave it's
Let's just say I come from the land of Rent Control
What I didn't have to give a landlord I paid in dues

And I think I can show you, I'm not criticizing but
Did you notice when you looked up those two times
That glassy look on the handful of people
Who weren't averting their gaze from your radiance?

There are a few places where, relatively speaking,
You're phoning it in -- don't worry, your B game
Is so much better than everybody else's A game
Nobody noticed. Not yet, anyway. You're good.

You're really good. That poem is good, it's amazing,
The long one with all the images of Brooklyn
Train travel and the back and forth with your friends.
It would be a great poem if you cut the crappy parts.

I hate to drop that on you and run but EastEnders
Is coming on in exactly the time it takes me to walk home
And I haven't missed an episode in twenty years --
Do you have a VCR? You'd love it. Talk to you. Great job.


Here's the deal: Your poem goes on too long.
We're not talking Seventies-German-Cinema too long,
It's more 'wtf dude we're your friends.'


I know this is just a listserv,
And I know how many sets of air quotes have accreted around *not ok*
But this text has a funny way of showing up in print
*EXACTLY* as it appears in the electrons.

If I don't say something now,
That's what they call *tacit approval.*
Which I do not want you to think I'm giving.
Your poem goes on too long.

It would be a great poem if you cut the crappy parts.
It is clear that you don't know which parts those are.
It's also clear that if I tell you you will hate me.

Can you feel the suckage?

My parents tricked me into a Dar Williams concert
And it would have been ok, at least as much fun
As the very best of Fresh Air with Terri Gross
If she had stopped *talking* between songs
And played maybe twenty fewer
And if the twelve songs she did play
Varied somewhat more in melody, structure, tone, and point.

[This poem was funded in part by a grant from an anonymous donor.]

posted by Jordan #