You Say You Don’t Care Much for Poetry


You say you don’t care much for poetry,

that even if your life were to depend on it, you couldn’t

tell the difference between a Pulitzer and an award

in honor of a bearded guy who invented an explosive.

I say what if you actually know poetry—

you just didn’t know that you do, like those things

they put in the bottom-right square of the Johari window.

Like the fact that you know something’s wrong with a sentence,

only that you can’t for heaven’s sake figure out what.

Okay, you concede. Maybe you would read poems

—by someone you knew.

For surely you must have ramblings of both feet and mind?

Or wondered if other people’s ramblings take them to places

you ought to visit, like the magazine features

on 101 places to see before you die.

And surely you must have thought more than once of flight?

Surely you must have daydreams outside your job

no matter how you love it?


but you interrupt with a nod.

Of course I do, you say, perhaps it’s just that back in school

they never defined it that way.

[January 2011]


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