Don’t You Know

Don’t you know
this is no way to start a poem?
Don’t you know
you need to be clever,
show off your education,
your vocabulary,
how much better you are than the reader?

Don’t you know
you need to be topical?
Or speak to universal truth?
Rather than making an ass of yourself with strung together nonsense words
and phrases that you enjoy for their sound and melody and cadence?

Don’t you know
that you’re in the middle of one now,
embarrassing yourself with each line you write?
That no publication will have you
and this file will sit on your computer,
even by you,
making a mockery of your lack of respect for time,
your own time,
as well as every editors’ time you sent it to,
in the remote hope someone would see value in it,
in you,
and this mass of atoms that you call yourself
would seem worthwhile,
if only for a few stanzas.

This is not a game, this is a salvation.

–December 1, 2021