THE POETRY, TO BE POETRY, HAD TO BE OUTRAGEOUS

Image result for small town main street in black and white photo

“The row of stores along Main Street was unchangingly grey.” —Shirley Jackson

The poetry, to be poetry, had to be outrageous,

Which is to say, unscientific. You cannot say

Everything you need to say about Main Street. Just say it’s grey.

You really hate Main Street; this is why you say this.

To stand up for the eccentric individual is to be

A poet. Hating is the best way of loving in poetry.

Knowing you will die? This will make you hate death,

And your poem, immortal in someone else’s breath,

Your revenge, but only if you hate death so well,

That its opposite, life, won’t let you down,

Because if life hollers and sings and claps its hands like a clown—

Then ragged life is now the thing you hate.

The slender woman in black who makes you wait

Is the poet you want. Her name, mostly vowels. Her book, outrageous:

No pagination; and the death of her name the theme of its pages.

 

 

 

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