This won’t last long.
Or if it does,
or if the lines make you sleepy or bored,
give in to sleep, turn on the T.V.,
deal the cards.
This poem is built to withstand such things.
Its feelings cannot be hurt.
They exist somewhere in the poet,
and I am far away.
Pick it up anytime.
Start it in the middle if you wish.
It is as approachable as melodrama,
and can offer you violence
if it is violence you like.
Look, there’s a man on a sidewalk;
the way his leg is quivering
he’ll never be the same again.
This is your poem
and I know you’re busy at the office
or the kids are into your last nerve.
Maybe it’s sex you’ve always wanted.
Well, they lie together
like the party’s unbuttoned coats,
slumped on the bed
waiting for drunken arms to move them.
I don’t think you want me to go on;
everyone has his expectations, but this
is a poem for the entire family.
Right now, Budweiser is dripping from a waterfall,
deodorants are hissing into armpits of people you resemble,
and the two lovers are dressing now,
I don’t know what music this poem can come up with,
but clearly it’s needed.
For it’s apparent
they will never see each other again
and we need music for this
because there was never music
when he or she
left you standing on the corner.
You see, I want this poem to be nicer than life.
I want you to look at it
when anxiety zigzags your stomach
and the last tranquilizer is gone
and you need someone to tell you
I’ll be here when you want me
like the sound inside a shell.
The poem is saying that to you now.
But don’t give anything for this poem.
It doesn’t expect much.
It will never say more
than listening can explain.
Just keep it in your attache case
or in your house.
And if you’re not asleep
by now, or bored beyond sense,
the poem wants you to laugh.
Poem For People That Are Understandably Too Busy To Read Poetry by Stephen Dunn
The purpose of poetry is not to create literary criticism. It exists to delight, instruct, and console living people in the sloppy fullness of their humanity.
– Dana Gioia
Sometimes my words
inside my pen.
Hidden within the
refusing to flow.
refusing to know,
what is already known –
heard 10 thousand times
between the lines
of shaded eyes
refusing to grow.