Feb 01

american Poet’s Manifesto

Is the tradition of the american Poet
Poverty, insanity, & death
Dramatic people living dramatic lives
The american Poet is a tough bunch
Tough as Bukowski’s Hollywood streets
Real as Neruda at a Redsox game
Bob Kaufman crazy in the streets
Arrested again for spouting spontaneous Poems
On top of cars
It’s shock treatment again for him
What about suicide
Deep like Plath’s depression
If you want to stop levy’s revolution
Put a bullet in him
Does it matter who pulled the trigger

Is this how you wish to be known
When it comes to culture
A few pretty white boys on the road
Did you want to be known as a killer of culture
In a void of culture or some bad psychedelic trip
Name any great Jazz artist dying of addiction
Name any great Poet dying of addiction
Name anyone dying of addiction
Name any great artist dying unknown
There should be criminal hearings

Mr & Mrs. whitebread america
We can do this all day
We’ve got nothing else to do we’re Poets
We’re getting mixed messages
You told us we could do whatever we wanted to do
What if all of our lives
We just wanted to be Poets
I guess we’d pay the price
We should have thought about this
Someone told me today
That I doubt my own resolve
I told him I doubt the resolve of others
What if we wanted to be something bigger than us
What if we wanted to be
A Poet
Don’t even get me started about Pound
Don’t even get me started about Steve Barrata
Who slept in the back of a pick up truck in East Hollywood
When he wasn’t sleeping in my apartment

We used to drink him under the table
Which was easy because he never ate
He used to shake on my floor with a blanket over him
Pregnant with holy words
Frank Walsh painting houses in Mantua
Then back to the bottom

You who hosted the last great literary movement
Then drove it away
Here in a country . . .

–Michael Grover