the poet

The poet, who I have it on authority

enjoys tequila reposado and group sex,


ought to write more interesting poems.

Too many trees, and he no swinger of birches.


To read his poetry is to grasp the wisdom

of the ages is lost on us, misfiled somewhere


in the office of obscure patents. To describe

the way the light falls on this surface or that


is not the same thing as enlightenment.

What to do now with my signed copy, purchased


from the author in a moment of weakness?

Pass it along to an acquaintance, he’ll doubt


my discernment, if not our friendship.

Banish the book to the purgatory of a low shelf,


it will infect the air with mediocrity—already

I have a low-grade fever, sense that a band of


colour—yellow, perhaps?—has vanished

from the visible spectrum. Soon all will be greyscale.


Set the words to music, perfect for piping

into elevators, waiting rooms, the tune


that comes over the line when someone

you hope to impress puts you on hold.


Burn it in the fire pit, the pages smoke like green wood,

and the gods, who invented orgies, wrinkle their noses,


the stale odour of inconsequence. Throw it in the lake,

fish go belly up from boredom, and little turtles, en masse,


leave their lily pads and begin the long, slow trek

overland to more hospitable waters.