A poem is a bad joke

A poem is a bad joke.
It’s all the effort of thoughtful writing,
Without the pay off.

A poem is a lazy novel.
It’s dumbed down and trivial,
Beneath the art of literature.

A poem needs melody.
Songwriters are like poets,
Except they have an audience.

A poem needs visuals.
People process with their eyes,
Really a painting is better.

Poetry is dead.
It was a form that lasted for a while,
Then vanished.

Unfunny, uneducated, deaf, and blind.
Still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

A joke is her when she makes you laugh.
A novel is her full body of work.
A dance is her arms and legs moving.
A painting is her when she’s real quiet.

She dies every Friday and Saturday night.
But on Sunday, reborn! Cause I write her new life.
She dies on the sidewalk, she dies on the stage
But alive once again between the lines of this page.

She cannot stay dead, it’s not in her thick blood,
She much prefers life, than to lie in the mud.
I’ve held her in arms as she gave her last breath,
Resurrect her did I, saved her from death.

A poem, like a phoenix, is never quite dead.
A poem’s when the heart, sings to the head.
A poem, like a phoenix, is never quite dead.
A poem’s when the heart, sings to the head.


IS Poetry

I told her she doesn’t recite poetry, she IS Poetry.
She smiled so I could see all of her teeth –
Held out her hand and I traced the wrinkles
until I hit a timeline I could relate to.
Poets, more than regular folks, share a
common history. We walk through our blood lines
just like anybody else, but we have these highs
and lows that you can trace on our hands and on
our faces. I know she got called “nigger girl” on the
bus. I know she had to force a man off her young body.
I know she wishes that one, particular pain would end,
but she doesn’t know where she’d be without it. I talked
smooth like sandpapered wood and acted like I could ease all of her trouble
but once she got wise to what I was doing, she
said, “Fuck off” – almost like she blew a cigarette in my face: her eyes
said I don’t care how many people are at this bar, I’ll stab you in public.
IS Poetry can remove her look quick, like mascara on a cocktail napkin.
Her smile is a front and her patients, thin. She is militant and radical.
She doesn’t belong to country clubs or frequent gala affairs.
She’s my winnowing heroine.
As she left, she kissed me on the cheek and whispered,
“Try and tame me again, and I kill you.”