December 10, 2008

Conversation at the Publishing House

               Poor cultures can afford poetry, wealthy cultures can’t – Les Murray

Who’s that on the phone?
          I think it’s that poet again
He wanted something, didn’t he, I wrote it down–

          Our publishing guidelines—

Tell him no one’s funding poetry
Tell him poetry strained a back muscle
Tell him poetry attempted a double
somersault with pike, landed on its belly

Tell him my bra strap’s loose
Tell him your shirt’s too tight

Tell him there’s a lot of competition
Words aren’t cheap
toads have warts
and ice-cream shouldn’t be left
in the car at the supermarket—

He’s just hung up . . .

Has he? Bloody poets

—Paul Mitchell
originally appeared in a Melb Poets Union anthology

Posted by dwaber at December 10, 2008 01:32 PM