Poets are, to most, myopic geeks,
Effeminates with scarves and inch-thick glasses
writing schmaltz with feathered quills.
There are, it’s true, purveyors of posies,
of teddy bears and valentines,
of sisterly, motherly, loverly love;
revealers of quivering, throbbing hearts,
plucked Aztec-like from a heaving breast,
spread and pinned in a dissecting pan
like viscera of frogs.
There is too the academic coterie,
who also favor schmaltz,
but want it fuzzed with farfetched metaphors,
ersatz-toughened with crudities and sex,
sound preferred to sense, psyches to society,
I, ME and MY over all the world,
Crusades, campaigns, missions—
all thought pursuits of Quixotes
as antiquated for the college clique as leisure suits,
as saddle oxfords —and rhyme.
At the other pole we have the aging dissidents,
the arthritic Ginsberg howlers,
who go spittle spraying about the streets,
manic bums in ragged iambics,
loony ancient mariners grabbing lapels,
railing against inequities, crying for action,
only to be heard . . .
with cries of horror at the ladies club;
with yawns of boredom by the collegiate elite,
not at all by almost all