Inauguration Pome

20 Jan

sitting here listening to Elizabeth Alexander
read her poem to millions before the Capitol;
(tens of millions huddled around flat screens)
and working on the sixth or eighth finger of something
on a cold snowy day in the South (amen)
i think
i like it.
it’s a modern piece
(a modRen piece)
of easy language, semi-muscular rhetoric
but gentle punch.
i like it; it’s where we’ve arrived;
we’ve cut down the rainforest of convoluted styles
and tongue;
meaning and meter and all that ancient nonsense.
i like it for what it needs to do.
it’s not an urgent piece
which disappoints me
but then it doesn’t inspire either
which doesn’t disappoint me.
poems,
pomes
are meant to be disposable;
words written on little pieces of paper
to be set on fire shortly after being read.
no one should ever write them with delusions of longevity.
what’s strange is
Ms. Alexander took over a month to write her piece.
thirty days of agony, I suppose.
no poem should extract that much energy from its writer;
no matter how dynamic or, conversely, flaccid the piece ends up.
it’s how i think
but then again
i’m not a Ginsberg fan or Frost or Whitman even.
those boys lived lives with which i can’t identify.
so don’t take my advice.
it’s good that words were simple and direct.
it’s all we ask of art.

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3 Responses to “Inauguration Pome”

  1. Geoff 20/01/2009 at 11:59 PM #

    … and sometimes we do ask more of art, and then are disappointed …. but perhaps — instead, it’s what art should ask of us that’s most important — perhaps ….

  2. Erin O'Brien 22/01/2009 at 11:45 AM #

    Once I wrote something that was sexy dirty and not in regular prose. I called it “pormetry.”

    That was a completely inappropriate comments, but it’s all I’ve got.

  3. (S)wine 22/01/2009 at 11:50 AM #

    I got nothin’ as well.

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