IT IS BETTER FOR ALL INVOLVED

Image result for black and white photo poetry gathering it Italy"

It is better for all involved,

Especially those, for whom, at length,

We pretended to have loved,

That right now, seeing it cannot be good,

We stop this charade of poetry altogether.

If it cannot be good, it is better

That it not be done.

Why gather around a small light and say it is the sun?

It is obvious it cannot get any better.

The evidence is in the attenuated pleasure

Which attends black marks which we call

Poetry, so that an anecdote cheerfully made

About the poem takes us into the light

And the poem itself is nothing

But the darkest possible prose showing off inside thick shade.

If the anecdote (my father and I went to Italy)

Is better than the poem, in every case,

Why does the poem show its face?

Why does the poem have to happen?

Because of the gaudy line of long tradition?

Or does poetry—as you call it—bring—how do you say it—fruition?

But what if, by that very tradition which apparently causes you to sigh,

This isn’t poetry? It is the crowds. It is the Italian sky.

We might be surrounded by the other arts;

Natural scenery, or this room,

Which can be put inside a frame,

And writing on that photograph—

Look! A photograph—you can put your name.

This might be art. But do you think it’s the same

When you name your father, or name

The district in Italy, where you took

The time to browse. Did you learn to cook?

Or this might be of interest—name the bank

Where you withdrew funds that day.

You could be Pound, and the adventures of a crank.

It’s poetry. We’ll listen. We’re in the audience. Go ahead and say

Whatever it is that’s supposed to be poetry.

Somewhere, someone is painting right now,

Learning how paint might invoke

Fate—the criticism of each brushstroke,

The afternoon light dying; in the group of people sitting next to me, someone spoke

Of just another day like this, the shadow

Covering all. The reading is over. Should I socialize? Or go?

 

 

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