31 August 2014

If there is no fire, it isn't a poem

                          By Sandra Simonds

August in South Georgia

Why do I drink so much gin? Has something to do
with the way the burn the trees down here on either
side of the highway. Man selling boiled peanuts,
man selling handmade canoes. If you know the south,
you know a good woman can only really get the blues
in the winter. Summer is meant for losing weight. No white
people are going to talk about race. The Goodwood Plantation
I drive by every day has no memory – all those baby
alligators and volunteer tour guides with their quaint anecdotes
that lodge in your throat like the demented sun.

21st Century Ars Poetica

If you touch this poem, it will turn to fire.
If you tough the fire, it will burn your finger.
If you burn your finger, you'll cry to your mama.
If you cry to your mama, your mama will die.
If your mama dies, you'll be an orphan.
If you're an orphan, God will give you a cupcake.
If God gives you a cupcake, you should probably eat it.
If you eat the cupcake, you'll want another.
If you eat another, you might get fat.
If you get fat, you can go on a diet.
If you diet too much, you'll become anorexic.
If you become anorexic, you'll get depressed.
If you get depressed, you can't fight oppression.
If you can't fight oppression, your poems have no meaning.
If your poems have no meaning, they can't burn your finger.
If they can't burn your finger, there is no fire.
If there is no fire, it isn't a poem.

From The American Poetry Review, September-October 2014.

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