Eating Poetry* (1)

by A. Jay Adler on September 13, 2009
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The Poem You Asked For

My poem would eat nothing.
I tried giving it water
but it said no,

worrying me.
Day after day,
I held it up to the llight,

turning it over,
but it only pressed its lips
more tightly together.

It grew sullen, like a toad
through with being teased.
I offered it money,

my clothes, my car with a full tank.
But the poem stared at the floor.
Finally I cupped it in

my hands, and carried it gently
out into the soft air, into the
evening traffic, wondering how

to end things between us.
For now it had begun breathing,
putting on more and

more hard rings of flesh.
And the poem demanded the food,
it drank up all the water,

beat me and took my money,
tore the faded clothes
off my back,

said Shit,
and walked slowly away,
slicking its hair down.

Said it was going
over to your place.

Larry Levis, 1972

*Ink runs from the corners of my mouth
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
~Mark Strand, “Eating Poetry,” Reasons for Moving, 1968


3 comments

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

MM October 5, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Oh I love that poem! Thank you for sharing…

Reply

thepoetryman September 14, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Oh I love that poem! Thank you for sharing…

Reply

jenni backs September 13, 2009 at 7:25 am

Love this!

Reply

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