I decided to serve up some lighter fare this week. An overly serious poetry workshop inspired this comic poem–and if you’ve ever been forced to consider what a poem wants, this is your answer. The poem originally appeared in the Chattahoochee Review.
THE POEM WANTS A DRINK
In the workshop, students analyze
what each poem wants, what each one
strives to be. Well, this poem is
a layabout with limited ambitions. It wants
This poem doesn’t give a damn
for rhyme or reason. It only sings
off-key. It has no rhythm
in the jukebox of its soul.
It grew up without symbols.
It doesn’t know from assonance.
Give it mambo lessons, and it
still won’t learn to dance. It has
not one stanza with a lyric pedigree.
It’s late, and getting later, and this poem
wants a drink.
Call it gray and tired. Even call it
a cliché. This poem’s lived long enough
to know exactly what it means
to say: Don’t be stingy
with the whiskey, baby.
Yes, the night
has been a cruel one, and this poem
could use a drink.