what poetry should do

what poetry should do


They were debating

what poetry should do best.

One says that it should break the shackles

of papers

strip the oppressive paperback clothing

run through the streets shouting

and scream from the top of buildings

and in the unmoving traffic of this city

choking on its own abundance.


An elderly poet disagrees.

He insists that there is, in words,

an intimacy

that should be left behind the closed doors

and between the pages

and the seductive whispers of the hungry poet

should be left for the ears of the reader.

If he were a democratically elected tyrant of words

he would have outlawed spoken word.


Oscillating between the page and the stage

young poet stares blankly at the wise old men.