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I saw your new book today. Just after I saw your new book.
The day after I saw your last new book. It kind of looks like
all you do is write books. It kind of seems like a rose grows
out your mouth each day: on the bus, the subway. In your
bed‚ in the germs you spread when you forget to cover your
mouth while coughing. And it kind of seems like you’ve got
locked in your office some kind of automatic poetry machine.
Out your ears‚ daffodils and smokestacks. Or out your nose‚
a poetry balloon grows. Out your eyes‚ an odd image is cast:
a wolf’s head consuming an ice-cream cone. It seems like
this is poetry. What am I coming to poetry for? A gnat sunk
in a bowl of milk? I did not know I wished to relive with you
that morning you sat across the kitchen table from your father
in 1978. He took his black. He will‚ in a later poem‚ have you
working on the car out back. A bolt falls from the underbelly
of the car to plink into a dish like a tooth extracted. This is a
metaphor. We need more cold-sores‚ need more of what you
won’t give us; give us some true ugliness. Your books arrive
annually‚ slick events appearing like the latest model of a car.
It would seem you do not consider the writing of poetry very
hard. Couple swan and cell phone. Pair two paralytic kids in
wheelchairs‚ hand the sharp light from hospital windows back
to them. Descend an imaginary ladder‚ climb link by link down
from out the window of your tiny apartment. March into your
local bookstore and demand to know why they aren’t carrying
your latest volume. Shoot the cashier with your poetry gun.
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But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
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