PORN IN MINIATURE

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John Ashbery has been fooling around with girls on the side.
Do you believe this? Decide. Decide.
If you need attention,
It pays to be outrageous and get a mention
In whatever forum supplies
Notice to paint brushes, arms or eyes.
They will end up asking where you have been,
Maybe even ask about the tears your tears have been splashing in.
Life can be sentimental and real
But poems need to be reticent, and not really show how you feel.
The gypsy can stomp and shout,
But please don’t tell the modern reader what your poem’s about.
Otherwise, you know, the charge
Of sentimentality will be leveled at your Cleopatra on the barge;
Her look, as you’ve described it here,
Is too much like a diamond shining in a diamond-shaped tear.
So look to your necklace, your locket, your phone
Which is calling you now, in a frail, low moan.

 

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