I Could Be a Poet
by Taylor Mali (www.taylormali.com)
I think I could be a poet because I like to wear a lot of black.
And I can think of incongruous images like a Marxist with a trust fund.
A Porsche pulling a U-Haul, a lobsterman in Birkenstocks sipping a cappuccino,
with his pinkie pointing toward the sky.
I have studied the poets who sing song out their lines
for no other reason than that’s how it’s done,
in love with the sound of their own voices,
ending each line going up,
every single line going up,
as they read, and read, and . . . read?
See, declarative sentences that in prose would go down,
in poetry seem to go up
as if it adds some hidden meaning:
I know what I’m talking about and you should too.
And I am not afraid to get pissed off!
I am not afraid to use that ONE requisite swear word
to let you know I am FUCKING serious, man!
I’m not afraid to
SHOUT! WITH INTENSITY! AND LONG, DRAMATIC . . .
FRAUGHT WITH ANGST!
And still you can hear the lines going up.
And the words, the vocabulary words—
Glaconian, distemic, irrepscenteelia—
Thrown in to remind you
“I am a writer! Eat my Verbal dust!”
And then the end
Spoken softly, hauntingly tender,
Though not devoid of irony,
Ending abruptly as if there is more . . .