Friday 12 March 2021

"The Flea" gone

The Flea ( has disappeared. Here are 2 of my poems from it

Lost Letters

"Too staid", critics said, "too sad. Poems shouldn't
mean but be". So must the work of men like me
who chose Jarrell's hose or Heaney's hoe become
sparse, hard to parse as it disappears up our collective arse?
Must we haunt palaces, places where thought paces in ermine?
Can't we swing and sing as if prose were a sin?

I know just what to do now there's no Eliot
daring to preach about eating a peach. We should each seek
the best public forum and form for expression,
slowly learn our craft, win words' trust, earn a good ear,
not beg a grant to rant like a rat on a sinking readership.

Their stuff's just prose in a pose. Poe's turning in his grave.
While stolid, solid poets slid into obscurity they've zoomed like
human cannon-balls into the canon, ousting poor anon.
Mon frère, they'll explain their free verse to you for a fee, but
I'll never cast pearls before swine, serving wine to win friends.
Let them eat cake. I'll earn my bread, read their books, always see red.

(each line has a triple of words with lost letters – e.g. staid/said/sad)

Today I've a diction addiction,
marooned in maroon,
alone without interest,
my celibate celebration of
innocence in no sense
pure, the
therapist, the rapist
all ready already
trying together to get her to
swing, sing, sin in-
side me, leaving me sentenced,
solitary, so literary.

Today I'm a pathologist
studying roads not taken,
aching for rumourtologists
to break the news to me,
and for wellwishers
to lower their buckets
as a sign of respect,
dyslexia my only hope of escaping
from the word to the world.

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