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Showing posts from August, 2015

No rubber, no road.

A poem I don't understand

I like this about having written poetry for thirty years: I can go back to old notebooks or old electronic files and find things I wrote that I don't now understand. I can see me in there, but I can't recall what I meant. So the poem must stand on its own. I assume, then that this poem from seven years ago was actually from a dream. If it makes sense to you, explain it to me.



"Noodle prophecy from a dream"

Sensible custom says that when the emperor offers you a noodle from his priceless bowl of udon, bow your deep gratitude--and refuse. His servant will offer noodles to everyone. All will bow, smile, bow, refuse. The emperor, one day soon, will need to fight for udon, defend each sesame seed from huns and djinis and dragons, protect our right to eat soba with smoked trout with his considerable armies and all his myth.
But what if, tourist that I am, I accept the noodle? What if I suck it from the chopsticks the servant clutches tightly, testing my resolve? The whit…

The Farce Side

My attention in grad school divided.
Some stayed on my declaration to be
a master of poetry. Comedy,
on the other hand, was an equally
attractive mistress-muse and one I'd loved

almost as long—and I loved me on stage.
To rage or parody or flat out goof
or pratfall or streak naked—I was free,
and on that stage, I needed no more proof.
The undersexed (thus socially awkward)

protopoet, who was never aloof
but seemed to be so, found his misfit tribe
acting out his angst in blood-red self-spoof.
Ruttish sex, deviant sex, vibrators,
weed, nitrous oxide, mushrooms, LSD—

all in play—while in poems I circumscribed
subterranean fires like some chaste scribe.