meeting a poem

most of what poetry is is presentation, as though the poem were standing there in your head and telling itself in a certain way. imagine your poem reading itself in front of congress, in a macdonalds, at a beatnik coffee house… or, even more so, intimately, sharing itself with sylvia plath or ezra pound or robin williams. your integrity is how much the ego you, as poet, would try to bend or style the poem to fit the audience, and you shouldn’t have to. for one thing, you believe in the truth of your poem as poetry, and on the other, that it’s up to the audience to combine itself with you. if the poem is good, if it’s written only as it should be written, like you’ve added a new gem or star or flower to the world, then, what? that’s the truth, isn’t it? that you’d dismiss someone coming to the beach and complaining there’s no clowns. libres

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