05 April, 2010

Happy National Poetry Month

OK, I'm five days late, but...April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. Unfortunately, the way most people are introduced to poetry in school seems to lead to them swearing off it forever for fear of not getting it. I keep poetry books by my bed the way some drunks stash a bottle. Gets me through. I'll try to share some of the good stuff over the next few weeks. Loosen up, read a little, and try to stop worrying about "getting it" and focus on feeling it. Also try this in front of certain works of art and at the opera or ballet. I've converted more than a few in my time.

Eating Poetry
by Mark Strand

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

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