a poet is not what you think it is

I am not a poet, I have an office and
I spend a lot of days saying things like
do you have a strategic plan?
there is a bug in the database. I get paid
once a month, for saying these things
and I enjoy doing my tax and I have never
sprayed a dark bar with passionate saliva as I
retell my traumatic childhood in
compelling technicolor. I was a kid who had a pony
and a dad
and a mum
and a life where I could not see the edges because
anything was possible.

I am not a poet, my name
is Jane, for Heaven’s sake;
if I were a poet it would be

I am not a poet, my brother will tell me later
(he does it now because
my father no longer can)
because if I were a poet I would write poems
that rhyme
like I did back when I thought I was
a poet too.

I am not a poet, poets tell
inscrutable stories and know what
meter is and spend hours crafting
autumn leaves into Derrida references. Poets do not
bleed words onto pages from inconsequential cuts,
do not split lines where
their brain leaves spaces without asking
why it’s doing so and
what the spaces mean. Poets write
Poetry, they do not
narrate their mundane lives in shattered prose just because
they like the way it feels down
beneath their hearts
when the words fit together.

Don’t get me wrong,
I would like to be a poet
one day.


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