Infinite Monkey

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Why No One Reads Poetry (Anymore)

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Dunkin Donuts Strawberry Coolatta

Does anyone care (anymore)

about rules of rhyme and meter

of what form syllables take

undulating on the page

In hallowed halls

of learned men (and women)

THEY decide

what IS and isn’t


For poems have “no rules”

(except the ones that keep you out)

But none for those with MFAs

who’ve spent their lives discussing

the merits of other people’s work

and why it works (or doesn’t)

the anointed move on

to teach

to filter good from bad

at the literary mag

those folks who REALLY know

what makes poetry


But who will reach

the gas station attendent

the Walmart greeter

the young man behind the counter at the Dunkin Donuts

braving insults while whipping up a Strawberry Coolatta

Where is the poet laureate of the middle class

the free form Robin Hood of the impoverished

Don’t you ever feel

like what you learned

What you studied

and practice

in agony

and revise, revise, revised

Puts your arm out

and keeps them at its length

What about emotional intensity

a transcendent experience

gilt-penned sonnets of leaves and light

What about a world made of

140 characters

makes it any less than

a cherry blossom rimmed


It’s not anti-intellectualism

That keeps us from poems

It’s the intellectual elitism inherent

in them


by the rules

(that supposedly don’t exist)

and managed

by the gatekeepers

Only rules

(and maybe your class)

just rules

and judgment

(and maybe a smug tone)

keep them from



Written by Rainee Squatch

June 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

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