The Poet As Projectile
by J. Bowers

When the subject of your sonnet--
your very own Dorian Gray
unwittingly walks past the plate glass
set between the air and where
you're reading him out with feeling--
the words, once so cautiously selected,
will suddenly ring redundant--and
all that will do, the only righteous conceit
involves emphatically destroying the separation--
that is, the act of hurling oneself--

right through the offensive window.


Once outside, still bleeding, broken, still
pinned by stunned eyes, you'll feel compelled
to grab his arm, so much thin chalk between your ten
consumptive fingers. And you'll hold it high--
to test his reflexes, his reactions to your metaphors--
he's a rock star, no, an angel, oh, fuck it--
whatever works can change a thousand times,
but your words will invent immortality--
will scrape his lyric tongue into rhymes, coat his
grin with protective, poetic gelatin.


If he shies, be prepared to recite entire anthologies,
all omitting his real name for public secrecy. Make
an honest attempt to pry stray glass from his lips,
his spiderweb hands--or he'll never play guitar again,
and that's wasting fascination.
Take care of yourself, as well, lest nothing
remain to write out the poem resultant--bandage
the wounds, lick shut those proscuitto-pink cuts.

Or better yet, get him to do that, to be of use, of help,
for after all, your hero won't be much for writing, no.
Only everything for being written about.
Posted by: J. Bowers

Poetry (May 23rd, 2006)