I love poets, because they’ll phone me from a TJ Maxx dressing room—the muggy lighting, yes, the discarded sundresses, the sheer, sheer hosiery—only to imply that my leftist politics nevertheless don’t equal their own tilted-beret Marxism. I love poets, because they’re always crashing at my apartment, stealing turns in the shower, and pooping out odd little evergreens into my toilet, but never acknowledging our friendship after they return to their academic jobs, or their NYC jobs, or their mysterious positions grooming information for dubious conglomerates. They are gymnasts, these poets, they leap onto dangerous ledges, their frigid synapses medicated against the pervasive societal forces that would otherwise embrace them gently or roughly as the case may be. They are beautiful and handsome alike, they copulate in ways that mimic the backstroke or sidestroke or how people ride a two person (or three person) bicycle.
I love poets, because they equate anti-Trump Facebook postings to “taking a stand” even as this passive behavior contributes to the “white noise” that obscures Trump’s gateway fascism. Nobody is more qualified than poets when it comes to judging—arbitrating—the truth of a flawed system, and I love them, the poets, because we need them (finally, definitively) to scold us, to scald us with the righteousness we cannot perceive via our own faculties. They are poets, they compose poetry after all, it has rhyme and abstraction and non sequitur and metrical brilliance (at least what they dictate into a smartphone does), and after an appropriate interval, presses bind these poems into sheathes. Reluctantly, they read from these sheathes, they chant from these sheathes in a doldrums known as ‘iambics’, but don’t mistake their casual modesty at first, no, the poets aspire to give us readings, they are libraries unto themselves, they whip us with their oratory.
I love poets, because they’re the culprits behind a pattern of larcenies: the tip jar money, the vintage jacket, the autographed Tina Brooks album on Blue Note. They weep, the poets, while seated within the expanse of musty leather armchairs, the armchairs are endowed, they are named for other poets who wept in other armchairs, they wept, did the forebears, and they weep, do the contemporaries, for themselves, for their minimalist, pointillist dramaturgy, they weep until they are comforted by an administrator. There’s nothing like a repentant poet, simply put, since there are no repentant poets, only the word repentance, the sound of which approaches, curiously enough, the sound of the word “serpents.” I love poets, though, notwithstanding their record-setting selfishness, but because no other group of people can emerge from the cellars of isolation, after thirty minutes of exertion, wielding the high voltage of impregnable verse, and if I’m lucky, I should like to become just one such impossible person, a poet.
This Posts Is Part of New Home California Day. Also See: