Poems Should Not Be
by David Wright

    About protest marches,
    about newspaper photographs

    (even if the man shielding his son from bullets has a name, and looks eternal,
    even if the blood dipped hands, spread wide at the window, look eternal),

    about elections, about television screens,
    about fathers, especially, dead ones,

    about domestic tasks, about vices,
    about children, about God, about paintings,

    (enough already with mystery and art, with divinity tucked into words, mucked onto canvas,
    enough already with epiphanies of any kind, in museums or churches, on roads and old barstools)

    about drinking hard, about getting hard,
    about getting laid, about waking up unexpectedly calm,

    (already seen that man's round, unwieldy stomach, this woman's delicate breast,
    already known the sweat and wine scent of bodies in the morning)

    about worry, about worry, about worry,
    about flowers, about, especially, roses,

    about what will be missed by the living,
    about what will be missed by the dead,

    (too many anecdotes, devoid of music, devoid of rhythm, devoid,
    too many parables, disguised as music, disguised as rhythm, disguised)

    about poetry, about language,
    about reading, about poetry.

    Poems should not be about.


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