The (Not Exactly) Poem

Should I write a poem?
And if I should, what sort of poem shall I write?

It shan’t have politics.
It mustn’t have goblins or minstrels, wars or Carthaginian rule.
It mustn’t be Sicily, Corsica, or Sardinia,
Though a Renaissance would be fine.

It shan’t be broken by rhyme, or ink spill,
And it shan’t be over until I have my fill.

It shall be hypocritical, contrarian, and contradictory.

It might have some advice, and a little lie
Here and there.

It may just lend a hand to ones who would despair,
Or are despairing,
Or have already despaired.

Don’t despair. There is a teeny light here.

It likes you.

The poem mustn’t dwell.
It should move right along.
It mustn’t preach or overreach or oversell or attempt to be
Something it is not.

It shan’t have a flower.
It should have a river, though.

Stony and heavy and of the moon;
Belching in whirltide and moving bloom
—majesty and momentous alchemic
Seawing so’swift a dream! Churning as underwind,
Rising and running by trout throat and fin.
Fa-looshing forward great and true!

Yes, I believe such a river would do.

The poem mustn’t have waiters; nothing of handouts.
It mustn’t be of prophecy
Nor of the clairvoyance.

It shan’t have loons, anterooms, sugar spoons;
Nothing wrenchingly sweet or inviting about it, but
Then again it should bring a smile.

A dash of heart.
A compass or two.

It shall require a bit of soliloquy
—some Shakespeare! some Coleridge!
some John Donne! I do say!

But, not too much.

It will need some love, and a gentle night.
Needn’t it wonder?

Perhaps a smidge of fright.

Two pinpricks of horror that watch unbeknownst;
Ten slivers of fangs that scratch against the door,
Six tongues that lap organ shards forthwith off the floor—
Hunger some hunger; some screams and some bites!

That’s quite enough fright now.

The poem mustn’t have knowledge,
At least, I don’t think.

It mustn’t have grigris, nor Delphi Priestess;
No Seven Sages about it nor Buddha to divine.
Though a little of Greece and
A bit of Samsara is alright, that would be just fine.

It shan’t have fever—oh but!
It must have passion!

But only in a simple way,
For it shall be rather old fashioned.

What poem shall I write
That I haven’t already written?

Hopefully a poem to remember,
And one that doesn’t end with rhythm.

Well, not exactly.

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