Ken Cormier
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POETRY DOESN'T NEED YOU

Poetry doesn't need you to dress all in black, to shave your head bald, or to polish
.....your boots.

Poetry doesn't need you to track all the times you've had dinner with Ginsberg or
.....channeled Rimbaud.

Poetry doesn't need you to lift it up out of some half-perceived stupor or to rage at the
.....youth whose attention you've lost.

Poetry doesn't need you to jump out a window or to burn your lungs smoking or to carve
.....up your skin.

Poetry doesn't need you to coax out its meanings or to tease out its strategies or to
.....unpack its bags.

Poetry doesn't need you to pinch yourself, wind yourself, catch yourself spinning in
.....spontaneous whorls.

Poetry doesn't need you to put forth sarcastic, bombastic, gymnastic, fantastic ecphrasis.

Poetry doesn't need you to emulate or imitate its grandest achievements or its infamous
.....botches.

Poetry doesn't need you to wind it up, set it down, launch it or light it or warm up its hands.

Poetry doesn't need you to flirt with its dactyls or stroke its sestinas or unzip its pantoums.

Poetry doesn't need you to vibrate or widen your mindscope or suckle your cowsack or snuff
.....up your hornblow or sweat out your insides or dredge up your backwash or kick in your
.....facecloth or chisel your eyeteeth or sink into.quicksand.

What poetry needs is a drink and a nap, and for all of its dinner guests—sipping on wine and
.....straining their.mandibles—to finally choke on the bones in their throats.

And what poetry wants more than any one thing is a volume of poems that nobody wrote.