Poetry Anonymous

Prageeta Sharma

 
Do not fall in love with a poet
they are no more honest than a stockbroker.
(Do you have a stockbroker? If you do,
your poet is with you because you have one.)
If you think that they are more sensitive because they care about language
pay attention to how they use language.
Are you included? Are you the "you"?
Or are you a suggestion?
Are you partially included as a suggestion?
        Are you partially excluded because you are a concept
        in some jewel-like nouns, almost throwaway,
        yet a perfect resemblance?
        How does narcissism
        assist you, who is also the object of desire?
        Do you become the tour-de-force?  
        Consider that poem's vagueness doesn't account for your complexity
        and the epithets don't suffice, you are not "one who is a horse-drawn carriage"
        nor are you a "sparrow with hatchet."
Perhaps they quote Mallarme when taking you to bed,
carefully confusing you with their charm and faux-chastity.
All this before voracious body-pressing.
The lovemaking is confusing until, you remember, they said something:
thus spake the dreamboat, your poet, alarmingly announces during climax:
I spend my fires with the slender rank of prelate
and then fierce withdrawal with a rush of perseverance to flee.
You are mistaken if language furthers your devotion.
You are a fallen person now.
They care more about "you" than for you (you, the real person you).
Line after line, a private, unmediated act done to you with confusing abandon,
flailing in its substance, however deceptive.
It will enhance your own directionlessness,
you will be harmed.
You cannot mediate it with caress.
Do you think because they understand what meaning looks like,
they have more meaning than others?
They are the protectors of feeling, mere protectors: earnest?
        No. They are protectors of the flawed,
        filling zones of bereftness.
        The aftermath of pleasure. A contested zone for all.  
What about the lawyer who loves the law?
Isn't he just a poet with a larger book—
the way they protect and subject language
to sense-making?
A kind of cognitive patternization.
Ultimately, both undertake the hijacking of language,
they won't love you the way
you are; it's in this inability to love—
unless you embody the poem—
you embody the law and its turn of phrase.
Unless you see the poet clearly: loving utterance,
an unadulterated utterance—seized and insular.
You must entice with otherness.
        You must catch the poem as a muse does.
You must muse and muse and muse.
In thralldom to encounters that stand in for sexual ones,
we terrorize with sense-making,
it stands in for intimacy.
It stands in and suggests that all other kinds of feelings
and declarations yield to it.
It will move you if you ask for permission
to exist within its confines,
and you move the poet toward you and you hold the poet's head,
wrapping your arms around it
strapped in your wordless hold, but soon words do come
and in the trailing off of speech, you will be permanently lost.
 
Copyright © 2010 by Prageeta Sharma. Used by permission of the author.

Poems by This Author

A Legacy by Prageeta Sharma
All this noisy commotion isolated a fairly
A Situation for Mrs. Biswas by Prageeta Sharma
When I received the call I was in a store in Missoula, Montana
Folly Stamp by Prageeta Sharma
Clatter into the window this late night.
Poem for Leigh Hunt by Prageeta Sharma
I find ways to keep a sense of peace
What Happened at the Service? by Prageeta Sharma
The forest service team came to my house to give me a thin-leafed tree


Further Reading

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