––An irrational or disproportionate fear of poetry


This cannot be right.     

I would have guessed fear

of cities, subways, taxi cabs;  

of bodies pressed to get somewhere     

down noisome streets that reek     

of chestnuts, hot dogs, hardhats’ sweat,     

and hawkers hawking faux accessories.

Certainly not of meters and tropes

luring mind-waves to slow down  

and heart-waves to swell up.    

Nor of What does it mean? posed

by teachers schooled to explicate

fourteen lines in multi-paragraphs.

And, yet, when poems proclaim humans

on this wobbly earth have muffed their cosmic test

or they stir up forgotten narratives

of mothers/fathers/siblings/children/friends,

could the witness they bear incite

a racing pulse and open wild eyes?

What are you looking for?