Saturday, July 21, 2007

I bought an anthology of contemporary poetry the other day

This was the good stuff
the best of the best
published by a well-respected
university press, and
by a major foundation
Twenty-two poets
all lined-up in a row.
Eleven professors,
two creative writing
department chairs,
seven non-teaching MFAs,
and the editors of twelve
other anthologies of
contemporary poetry.
Winners of every grant and award
(including some so silly-sounding
I think
they may have just them made up);
the authors of uncountable volumes
of poetry
by university presses or
obscure and unfindable
small-press publishers.

I waded through page after page
of broken verse
of angry grumbles
about unappreciative husbands
or old classmates
the lesbian grunts and growls
of anger anger anger or
some excruciatingly explicitly
biological confessional gay porn
mixed in with
the ingrateful poetic hand-bites
of adult children who clearly wished
their parents
had stayed
in whatever third-world pesthole
they'd originally come from
all topped-off with
scoop upon glop of thick word salad
of the sort produced
by stroke and closed-head injury patients
are struggling to remember
precisely the right words to
express exactly bungalow torpid giraffe.

And then, on page 62, I found it.
A poem sweet and lyrical,
sad and wistful,
full of loss and love
and sepia-toned childhood memories.
A song of deep-beyond-words adoration,
sung to the poet's long-lost

And that is when I shouted GAAAAAAAAH!
and threw the book across the room
and went into the bathroom
to wash my hands.