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1983-2015
tearing the rag off the bush again
The Poetry Career PDF E-mail
But then, to earn his real keep and sustain
the poetry by which he really lived, he had
to be polite about poems written by losers

Of all the animals out there in his youth,
the polar bear stood forth as the spirit
best suited to guide that poetry
by which he chose to live. Exquisitely white
as the waste in which it roamed, driven
by a hunger more ancient and fiercer
than the most brazen bully in his school,
this bear became a quest in his dream
of glory as he lay curled beneath the covers
in that New England boyhood. There,
he crawled inside a putrid concavity of pure,
gory bear, eating his own bear shit vomit
for sustenance, and fell into the sleep
of a poetry too strong for weaklings
frozen outside in the white, unforgiving wind.
But then, to earn his real keep and sustain
the poetry by which he really lived, he had
to be polite about poems written by losers
living in raw towns and isolated wastelands
where important winners never bother
to hang out. And for another forty years
he sat languidly autocratic before workshop
tables, like a wise iguana murmuring
the message of bear as he eyed his fly.  
Finally, almost too late, he learned
that polar bears mate with a brutal rape
and will eat their own cubs if they can.
Even worse, these bears that look
so majestic rearing up thirteen feet
to roar at sea lions, hang out at dumps
like seagulls and Inuit children chase
them in snowmobiles. Losers whose time
is over in the inevitable new warming.
Yes, he must warn weaker ones
who tag along after him as their role model
for his myriad prizes and accolades
for avant garde iconoclasm: no longer
does he stalk in the bitter blood tracks
of unworthy bears.

     
 
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