Lost Letters

by Tim Love

“Too staid,” critics said, “too sad. Poems shouldn’t
mean but be.” So must the work of men like me,
who chose Jarrell’s hose or Heaney’s hoe, become
sparse, hard to parse as it disappears up our collective arse?
Must we haunt palaces, places where thought paces in ermine?
Can’t we swing and sing as if prose were a sin?

I know just what to do now there’s no Eliot
daring to preach about eating a peach. We should each seek
the best public forum and form for expression,
slowly learn our craft, win words’ trust, earn a good ear,
not beg a grant to rant like a rat on a sinking readership.

Their stuff’s just prose in a pose. Poe’s turning in his grave.
While stolid, solid poets slid into obscurity, they’ve zoomed like
human cannon-balls into the canon, ousting poor Anon.
Mon frère, they’ll explain their free verse to you for a fee, but
I’ll never cast pearls before swine, serving wine to win friends.
Let them eat cake. I’ll earn my bread, read their books, always see red.

Tim Love blogs at http://litrefs.blogspot.com/.
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