Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
do not read a loud
staticky public service announcement
—as though its only aspiration was to be a broadcast,
like it was raised by a pack of HEY-YOU!'s
in a spit-molding megaphone.
Do not read a poem
like a hot lunch menu—
With Mashed Syllables
And Canned Metaphor
(Now raise your hand if you thought the imagery was dry.)
I don't know what you've been told,
but a poem is not the IBM Financial Statement of 1995.
Or the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on Killer Whales
you used for your fourth-grade science report.
is a looooooooonnnnnnngggg word to massage your ear,
the sound between this breath and the next,
the space between your eyelashes or your two front teeth—
a gap in time so full it can't be pushed shut.
Read a poem aloud—yes, read it aloud—
but don't rattle-tattle-prattle
or flick-a-lick-a-tick it.
should be held and savored,
like the last of your European chocolates
that you hold in your mouth until
it dissolves by itself.
And after it's gone,
you do not brush your teeth,
you do not drink your coffee.
You lick the wrapper,
You hold your taste buds still
so they will be sure to remember.
A poem should be
greeted "Good morning,"
and invited over for dinner
(and perhaps also for dessert,
just in case it thinks of more to say.)