Tags: david lerner

-- One side of an ampersand

Why Rimbaud Went to Africa - David Lerner

Poetry isn't literary
poetry isn't sure which fork to
poetry can't name the parts of speech
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poetry doesn't like cappuccino
poetry doesn't want to be printed in a
small press edition with its name on the
cover and get reviewed in 2 little magazines
read by 3 people
argued over by 8

poetry doesn't care about glory
glory is nice but poetry figures it's
poetry doesn't want to get laid
poetry might want to get drunk but
that's only self defense

poetry doesn't want to traipse around Europe
and collect stray bits of wisdom
from ruined empires
that it can show like slides when it gets home
poetry has a headache

poetry is a slingshot
a war you can carry in your pocket
a better way to die
the kind of fire that never goes out
and never gives an inch

poetry wants to be on every street corner
hissing from the cracks in the sidewalks
from the columns of print in the newspapers
on the lips of people on buses going to their
miserable jobs in the morning

poetry wants to be
in the prayers of dogs and the
screams of acrobats
in the terror of politicians
and the dreams of beautiful women

poetry wants to be
an eye through which the world will see itself and
poetry doesn't want to
die in the gutter
it already knows how

poetry doesn't want to sparechange strolling professors
and millionaires
wear anything but blood

have conversations with college students about
the meaning of life

because a bad wind is coming
you can smell it in the air

the pollution of the cities
mixed with the odor of rotting souls

the wind will climb

it will have little sense of humor
it will not want cappuccino
or reviews
or girlfriends
or anything else

except the death of
everything we love