Death Row

23 03 2010

I’m gonna write like I’m on Death Row
the carnivores are licking their chops
smelling the fair meat of the poet
but I’m gonna write like I’m on Death Row
all my appeals bouncing through
the Universal Court System
my own mitochondria plotting against me
like every tomorrow is a lethal shot
and the groans of the damned
echo in my concrete eardrums

I’m gonna write like a daredevil suicide mission
no quarter given and none expected
no hymen-nosed pretension is safe around my telescope
I’m gonna write like TRUTHS were chasing me,
flaming demons through a nightmare
to strap my imagination to a chair
and torture themselves out of me

all the easy poems have been written
the psalms, the sonnets, the sutras
the epics and the limericks
the poems of beauty and longing
poems of storied heroes and gods
poems of lust
poems of charity
poems of clarity
kiddie poems
funny poems
nasty poems
angry poems
sweet poems
bitter poems
they’ve been written
by me or others

but I look for a poem hard as diamond
that will scratch a mirror right down to the silver
a poem that is major surgery with a ball-point pen
I look for a poem that will embarrass Aphrodite with its nakedness
a poem to make grown men weep and little children laugh with glee
I look for a poem with music makes the redwoods shivver like reeds
causes the tides to bow and ebb and the beaches to catch up their skirts
a poem with acid that eats rocks
will knock your notions out of their socks
make the Himalayas lean to listen
I want a poem terrifying in its beauty
and terrified of its beauty
with an edge that splits razors

Long I have looked for this poem
when I couldn’t find it, I tried to write it
but to write that poem
you have to write like you’re on Death Row

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