VIII Hollow Men
There is an absence greater than absence of life
there is a hollow hollower than death
when the lights go off in the gunman's eyes
and every man becomes a purse.
There is a loss greater than loss of pleasure
when there is no breast or nipple
and the nurse removes your pacifier
and the wailing of your deprivation
goes unnoticed in the bassinet
and your infant body shakes
into the grief of sleep.
Or when standing at the railing of your crib
and there is no mother
and no substitute for mother
in the endless darkness
might as well change yourself.
After this you may spend your life
seeking a substitute
for the milk-dewed nipple
and the warm pillow of breast
pressed against your face during
the rhythm of the bliss of your sucking.
IX My Poetry Addiction
There is so little poetry left in the world
I suffer its loss as much as cigarettes.
It may, in fact, leave a bigger emptiness.
Is it love or addiction?
Sometimes I think the latter, especially when I am around poets
and feel the heat of their narcissism rise like steam from a meatloaf,
most without craft, an ear, rhythm or form,
who cannot write a sonnet to save their souls
despite their endless infantile hunger to be heard.
The difference for these junkies is external dependence:
Only another can shoot you up with self-deluding praise.
Plato was right and wrong.
He never imagined the democratization of poetry,
fearing Aeschylus and Aristophanes
not Angelou and Bukowski.
You say I have switched to prose.
I say form must fit function
in this proliferation of venues and dilution of talent
on the Fleet Street of the Internet and overpriced coffeehouses.
Forget poetry, poetry sucks as much as cigarettes.
Poetry sucks donkey dicks in the dead of night.
Poetry sucks the butt holes of rabid bats
Poetry sucks the big Walla-Walla like a Staubsauger.
Poetry is a concentration camp for narcissists.
Poetry is eternal competition with every poet, living or dead.
Poetry causes stillborns, curdles milk and stains the altar with pig’s blood.
Poetry is bread in the mouth of a pigeon spreading Legionnaire's disease.
Poetry is the word flu.