December 06, 2007

Poetics

The poets tell me things like Hooray for refuse. Like, thereís a grackle in the crotch of that tree. The poets freak me out. I hide from them by posing as a tree. I stand in tree posture, on one leg, arms in a diamond above my head.

Tree posture does not so much look like a tree as a cartoon Egyptian, but the poets donít know the difference.

Something in the poets is broken.

The problem with the poets is that they will just stand there staring at me, thinking I am a tree. They will stand there all day. The poets never get bored. A grackle will land on my crotch and rest there, and then the poets will stare at the grackle. They will look at the grackleís black feathers and see purple feathers and red feathers and blue feathers and green feathers. They will see themselves reflected in the feathersí oily shine. When the grackle flies off, they will sit down in the shade beneath me and pluck their lutes and hum. If they fall asleep I can sneak away, but I usually have to wait until they get hungry or thirsty or shivery. This can take hours or days.

I try to avoid the poets, to duck around a corner or into a store before they see me, but I do not always see them coming. Sometimes I am taken by surprise.

—Melissa Weinstein
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a version of this poem appeared in Exquisite Corpse.

Posted by dwaber at December 6, 2007 03:22 PM