For the Critic

“It’s not real,” the waitress told me, after the
reading at Java Joe’s Sub-urban Coffee House.

“The poetry here isn’t real poetry.”
So I asked her where she studied poetry.
“I didn’t. I studied music at Princeton.”
“But, you’ve taken poetry classes?”
“No! But, I’ve been to the Nuyorican Café.
That’s how I know poetry.”
“Oh!” is all I said but wanted to say,
“I’ve been to over fifty Grateful Dead concerts,
I guess I’m a maestro.”

I let it go, but thought about it on my way home.

Alas, she never rolled in Leaves of Grass,
Crossed The Bridge, and meditated in
The Wasteland. She had never pondered
The Road Not Taken, as she wandered the paths
in The Central Park Ramble, or listened to
The Howl in Washington Square and sung
Mexico City Blues.

The Figured Wheel never rolled over her.
She would never know that life is a poem
And the poem is a circle and the circle goes around.
As Wallace Steven said,
“The poem goes from the poet’s gibberish to
The gibberish of the vulgate and back again.”

But she told me she knew poetry.

 

 

 

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Monday, May 16, 2011 - 13:52

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poetpete

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