I set out to read a collection
Of poems by Rodney McKuen;
I decided, through much introspection,
I haven't a clue what I'm doin'.
Anthology catches attention:
The Poems of M. Angelou!
Disbelief kept in willing suspension,
I’m finished by quarter past you.
The next day I wandered unsteady,
in search of some coffeehouse verse;
I savored some rare Ferlinghetti
in landscapes of living - and worse.
If I had met Dorothy Parker,
She likely would not have been there;
A rose is a carnival barker,
But a fawning acquaintance is air.
I wandered the docks of Venezia
To breathe in the scent of Lord Byron;
But signs of his genius grow hazier,
The glimpse of a shimmering siren.
The Poest of poets is creeping
Away from my somnolent prose;
But he'll nevermore catch me weeping -
I'm off to read palms at Thoreau's.
Walt Whitman and I have a wager
About his barbaric old yawp:
When I write my first twenty-pager,
I'll yawp, and he'll yawp, then we'll stop.
When Shelley comes by for a beverage,
I run out and open the gates;
Together we muster our leverage,
And whip up a cocktail for Yeats.
A bell jar can balance a lily,
But not so Miss Sylvia Plath;
She told me my concept was silly,
preferring an aquavit bath.
And now, in the gloom of the gloamin',
While poems play out in their turns,
I wake up and think, "How at home in
This stanza would be Robbie Burns."
But guilty or innocent are we?
"Hurrah!" or "Go jump in a lake"?
Experience tells me it's sorry
You’ve waited so long, William Blake.