The Silence/Warning
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Word
Poet's Corner
How to Eat a Poem
Why I am a Poet
The New Poetry Handbook
A Loaf of Poetry
For Poets
Poet, Trying to Surprise God
Why I am Not a Painter
Apple that Astonished
Eating Poetry
A New Poet
How Can You Become Poet
Selecting a Reader
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live, on stage!



warning:
I will not be performing
this poem
I am only a writer

my head will not bob
my arms will not flail
my legs will not dance
I am not a grinning puppet
a smirking mime
or an ill-tempered
pickpocket monkey
jerking about
while an organ grinder plays
I am only a writer

I will not shout this poem
or spit it out so quickly
that I can't breathe
and you can't hear
in fact
it's unlikely that I'll ever
read this poem
out loud
I am only a writer

if I do read it
I will read it to you from paper
memorization is far too difficult
and a memorized poem is an
ego trip
and a lie
besides, I would probably
leave out a lot of the words
of course every word is not
precious gold
I am only a writer

you will not learn much about my life
from this poem
and even less about my pain
my pain is your pain is our pain
and this is only an introduction
I am not an anxious talk show whore
or a thought-provoking sound bite
I am only a writer

later, backstage
the modern poets will beat me
fists and metaphors flying
for this poem will rub many of them
the wrong way

knowing this
one could argue
that this poem should have never been
written
but I never claimed to be a wise man
or a modern poet
I am only a writer



mjp
I wanted to write literature
that pushed people into their lives
rather than helping people
escape from them.
~ Harvey Pekar
An Obsessive Combination
Tasks
Teaching the Ape to Write
People Like Us
Man Writes Poem
Writing
poetry readings
The Silence
You Go to School to Learn
Dear Editor
The Trouble with Poetry
I Ask You
Excerpt
Rereading Frost
Home Fire
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The Trouble with Poetry - 2
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Sonnet
Poetics
Thesaurus
The Secret
Of Modern Poetry
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A Considerable Speck
The Best Cigarette
Digging
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