Poet's Dilemma & Imperative

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A Poem By Gerald Alan Ney

Poet's Dilemma & Imperative 11/08/2012
(See Also Task & Purpose
and Caedmon's Choice)

["A poem is the unpaid labor of the intellect,
the fonds perdu, practice with a sandbag:
one-sided, inconsequential, and without partners."

- Gottfried Benn]

["anyway all artists feel 'other'.
There's not an artist on God's green earth
who feels 'emotionally speaking,'
that he or she has been invited to the prom."

- Hilton Als]

The writing
That we put
Upon the paper
Silently screams
Its sibilants and plosives;
Yet meaninglessly meanders
Across the surface
Of many a mind.
Too long, too short,
Too nerdish,
Too simple,
Too out there.
No rhythm, no rhyme,
Out of fashion,
Too trendy,
"Who ya think you are?"
A man like any other
More or less.
Like Shylock and not.
A Jeffersonian bundle
Of contradictions,
Both plain spoken and
A dealer in allusions.
Day in, day out,
A streambed dry
Till a flash flood
Of words burn
In my brain,
"Write us or lose us,
We need to be said.
No one else can
The same way."

Gerald Alan Ney