Might this be you? ☺
Poem for People That Are Understandably Too Busy to Read Poetry
by Stephen Dunn
Relax. This won’t last long.
Or if it does, or if the lines
make you sleepy or bored,
give in to sleep, turn on
the T.V., deal the cards.
This poem is built to withstand
such things. Its feelings
cannot be hurt. They exist
somewhere in the poet,
and I am far away.
Pick it up anytime. Start it
in the middle if you wish.
It is as approachable as melodrama,
and can offer you violence
if it is violence you like. Look,
there’s a man on a sidewalk;
the way his leg is quivering
he’ll never be the same again.
This is your poem
and I know you’re busy at the office
or the kids are into your last nerve.
Maybe it’s sex you’ve always wanted.
Well, they lie together
like the party’s unbuttoned coats,
slumped on the bed
waiting for drunken arms to move them.
I don’t think you want me to go on;
everyone has his expectations, but this
is a poem for the entire family.
Right now, Budweiser
is dripping from a waterfall,
deodorants are hissing into armpits
of people you resemble,
and the two lovers are dressing now,
I don’t know what music this poem
can come up with, but clearly
it’s needed. For it’s apparent
they will never see each other again
and we need music for this
because there was never music when he or she
left you standing on the corner.
You see, I want this poem to be nicer
than life. I want you to look at it
when anxiety zigzags your stomach
and the last tranquilizer is gone
and you need someone to tell you
I’ll be here when you want me
like the sound inside a shell.
The poem is saying that to you now.
But don’t give anything for this poem.
It doesn’t expect much. It will never say more
than listening can explain.
Just keep it in your attache case
or in your house. And if you’re not asleep
by now, or bored beyond sense,
the poem wants you to laugh. Laugh at
yourself, laugh at this poem, at all poetry.
Good. Now here’s what poetry can do.
Imagine yourself a caterpillar.
There’s an awful shrug and, suddenly,
you’re beautiful for as long as you live.
This one speaks for itself. Besides, I wouldn’t want anyone to think I actually had time to read poetry ☺.
What’s buzzin’ in your hive?
Here in the Alphabet Soup kitchen we’re revving up for the 3rd Annual Poetry Potluck! Here’s my announcement from earlier this week. Full Menu and Giveaway details next Friday, March 30th.
Doing something special for Poetry Month? Please let me know in the comments so I can include the info in my roundup post next week! Thanks.
Beautiful-as-a-butterfly Mary Lee is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today at A Year of Reading. If you’re not too busy, flitter over there to enjoy all the delicious poems being served up in the blogosphere this week. But only if you’re not too busy, mind you. Only if you’re not too busy.
Pay no attention at all to this strawberry shortcake. Its feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t eat any.
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.