Sunday, April 25, 2010

dear mr. roethke

I thought about writing a good "public
poem," one for the eyes of all who read such shit
from my pen, but failed. Again. The words
were personal and scared me. I hid them—
forgive me. How about light verse?
The question never occurred to me before,
always making the longest fucking lines,
always imitating the poet I love best.
Are my own lines fair, Mr. Roethke? Fair
enough? Public consumption is not at high
demand these days. Not for my style—your style—
my poor imitations. Jesus, if only the weight
of your heavy lines didn't hang on me so
strongly. If my love of lineage wasn't
limitless. Dear God. Sacrilegious and pious,
my two best loves, in tandem, and now
the clean scent of my Papa's cologne. (I asked
for Old Spice, just to be like him.) I try
and make a good line, or two good lines,
a string of words pleasing to the ear—hell,
Papa, just one good phrase between
commas would suit me just fine, if only
for you to nod your approval, embrace me.

(rev. 4/30)

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