A Poem Speaks



As Arthur Miller wrote in his signature masterpiece, "Death of a Salesman," "Attention must be paid!" Here, today, the subject is Poetry. lmr

I am an anomaly. I am
Words and thoughts
Metaphors and similes. I am
A concept,  and a newborn idea. I was once a
King, so popular...
Even Shakespeare spoke
My name.
I can be as pretty as
A storybook princess...
Or as gritty as an underpaid
Street whore.
It's all in the way you
Possess me,
Finesse me!
Undress me!  Whitman,

He gave me flesh and
A raging pulse,
Endowed me with sex and
Surging sensuality.  He
Fashioned my energy into Light,
And heat...and climaxed upon
Crisp white sheets.  I am Poetry!
Poetry!  Damn it!

e.e.   cummings, decided I could be
a whisper,
a code,
a sly reminder of
the life inside each moment.

I can be an ode... or a song...
A passionate soliloquy or
A lyrical psalm.
And yet I never  once ceased being
Hip. Yes. I was that Beat 
Generation bongo Ginsberg heard in a
Howl, and I was that
Inspiration Kerouac attacked with
His typewriter's keys.
I can be Epic...
And metered or
I can be
Free and unencumbered.
I am black, and I am white.
I can be red or yellow or brown or
Purple and sepia, too.  I am
As versatile as
A chameleon. boo!

Langston Hughes took me to
Harlem and painted
My skin, a rich copper color.
My Frost words made it into
Kennedy's inaugural speech.
I  even let Paul Simon have his
Way with me.
I am Poetry!  Poetry!
Damn it!
I am music and rhythm,
Hearth-fires and holocausts.
And I can throw my voice
From the lips of Joni Mitchell,
Or the soul of Stevie Wonder...
From the intellect of Leonard Cohen of
Springsteen or of Dylan.
And I am sly and cunning enough
To hide behind verses of
Hip-hop.  I don't stop.
I never stopped
I won't stop...
Being relevant. 
I am Poetry!  Poetry!
Poetry! Damn it!
And yet, these days,
I am little
More than a forgotten art;
An anomaly...
Words and thoughts
Metaphors and similes.
Still, I refuse to be dismissed,
Destroyed or
Please, recognize this:  I am
A Giant!
I am the reason for
Plath's fame...
For Maya's fire,
And Sonia's reign!
I am Haki Madhubuti's promise
And Amiri Baraka's most beautiful
Dream. And I was once
A king, so mad

Even Shakespeare knew
My name!
I am Poetry!  Poetry!
Damn it!
copyright © 2016 by L.M. Ross

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