Word Disease

I don’t think I’ll be telling anybody that I’m writing poetry.
What for? Hardly a soul believes in it anyhow.
A rhyme and a tune mixed with resonating strings
is just enough for most of us to think that we have
experienced the high art of our great culture.

Only those who go in quiet places,
listening for and hoping to attach themselves momentarily to divinity,
would want to fiddle with the inner urgings of a poem.

Besides, the libraries and even the used clothing stores
with lined paperback shelves in the rear,
fill and spill over with a glut of self-help psychology,
so who would want to write a poem?

People only seek the imprimatur of a professor
and an emboldened publishing house.
All other words that fly loosely and have difficulty making
thoughts pull together in a straight-laced coherent manner
have come from the inner, perturbed minds of mad men.
Why would anybody think their disease worth spreading?

Speaking in writing about things
that might easily be fixed with pills and group therapy
or bottles and hypnotism hardly seems worth justifying.
I have a few years to unlearn this talking
soul that shadows my breathing.
Who knows? Maybe I will stumble across the
correct volume of western mind medicine,
and no longer need to write poems.

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