Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Blank Page

This is not a poem about a pear tree.
Nor does this poem concern itself
with insect abdomens flexing sexually
toward blossoms aching to receive them.

This poem is content to ignore the pulsing
venom stored in the stingers of those bees,
as well as their furry black trousers coated
in pale-gold powder. If it were a comic poem,
it might encourage the reader to envision bees
wearing tiny shearling chaps and call them cowbees.
But this is not a comic poem. It has no feelings.
It has nothing to confess about its recent affair.
The salacious photos in its file will be burned.
It has gone dead inside, despite all the therapy,
and that is why it has turned to cold, clear gin.

This poem offers the congenial banter arising
before the actual discussion. It wants you to like it,
but not too much. Not like some people’s poems.
It is arguably a conflict-averse poem, and now
it is watching and waiting, hoping you noticed.
This poem would rather start rumors than work.
It has never owned a goat, nor any other livestock.
It is partial to cashmere sweaters and black coffee.

If you are ever forced to have sex with a poem,
don’t choose this one. I don’t even want to tell you
the stuff it thinks about before it falls asleep.
You would probably unravel like a cheap shoelace.
In fact, this poem would be content to revise itself
out of existence and back to the blank white page

if it didn’t have such a bad habit of borrowing
your intuition to create its false impressions.  

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