E D W A R D   B U R K E    “strannikov”

 

poetry less than poverty:
fair warning to poets, but a good sign.

poetry—human poverty’s speaking voice
poverty—the substance of each human void
or the void all share: poetry speaks us poor
stubborn with stubborn lack—“there has to be more”
than mouths can find words to fit around
than senses can learn or throats can speak
than is culled from somnambulist skulls
than crazed wailings vivify or paint—
and always well-pared and properly pruned.

poetry is less than poverty:
knows no victory, that is,
does not vanquish with heroes
(poets don’t do well with votes).
mercif’lly, poetry’s spared from much that’s vain,
but of truth, beauty, good—pale vestige alone.
poems hide vulnerable remarks in dirt
that poor stirrings of poor dirt unveil and veil.

what else might explain how thin we can sing?
—but still must true poets truthful remain,
and what more true of us than poor we remain?

 

 

 

 


Header image credit: parallel pen and pointed pen by Bertram Kaiser on Behance

 

 

 


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