our poets have no time for poetry

2014-04-02 09.58.33

Our Poets Have No Time for Poetry

by lori walsh

 

Our poets stand in their kitchens, hands,

wrists, elbows plunged deep into sudsy water,

hot as they can tolerate,

Red sauce loosening and lifting from

the plate, leaving a gleaming disk of white

But no pen. No paper.

White plate skipping to the countertop

White towel lapping up those unwritten words

 

Our poets work as bottled water salesmen,

hawkers of the clean and the clear,

Their names embroidered onto patches sewn into Carhart jackets

They blow their lunch breaks in the children’s section of

Barnes & Noble, shopping for their kids, passing the poetry section by

as the tintinnabulation of their cell phones wages its delicate battle

Their clipboards pinch carbon copy forms with deliciously blank spaces—

Client name. Delivery date. What will you do with your wild and precious life?

 

Our poets are children, breathing shallow and deliberate

under the weight of expectation

Binder, backpack, water bottle sloshing for maximum hydration

because school is an endurance sport

Topic sentences, Annotations, Double spacing, Conventions

and Voice, oh yes, don’t forget Voice

You have none. You should really work on that.

Their jeans are stained with ink, their skin, stained with ink because they still

have so much to say they cannot help

themselves

 

Our poets have no time for poetry

And we have no time for our poets

 

We stand apart, All of us,

Noticing nothing,

Save the fact that we are, All of us,

Thirsty

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