Thursday, January 19, 2012

To Be A Poet

To be a poet
Means having to
Take on all comers
It means having to be
In the face of the enemy
It means having to eat
A ton of shit from
Society in general
It means getting absolutely
No respect
It means having to earn
Starvation wages

Being a poet often means
That one is unsuited to do
Any other kind of work
No matter how gifted or
Devoid of talent
One may be

To be a poet means
That one must learn to be
A devoted lover of
All that is
Good and
True and
Even in the face of all
The unmitigated
Ugliness that one
Is forced to encounter
(And overcome!)
On a daily basis

I did not become a poet by
On the contrary
I became a poet
Quite by accident
I am an accidental poet

Over the course
Of the years
I have tried mightily
To become
Something else
Something other
(And just when I thought
That I was getting out
They pulled me back in!
Al Pacino – The Godfather)

But no!
The fates always
Seem to conspire
Against me

Once I happened to
Mention this matter
To a Unitarian minister
As we were talking during
The much beloved coffee hour
After Sunday services
And his reply was to suggest
That I get a frontal lobotomy
As a cure for all that was
Ailing me

Needless to say
I declined to follow
His sage advice

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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