May 11, 2006

What is a poem? How are they made?

by Ken Belford

Nothing can be done to save you of poetry.
Poetry is 100 percent communicable.
Even one poem is enough to begin a cycle.
Ingestion of infected poetry results
in permanent death, but injecting poetry
directly into a dead brain is useless.
Meat inspectors, when not looking for lesions,
laugh at the poem and spit at the poet.
Poets posses no powers of regeneration -
poems that are damaged, stay damaged.
Poems travel through the bloodstream,
from their point of entry to the brain.
Not waterborne nor airborne, poems use the cells
of the frontal lobe for replication. This is why
no poetry occurs in nature. Warning
against an act of poetry would be useless,
as the only people to listen would be unconcerned
for their own safety. A poem is safe to handle
within hours of the death of its host.
Children have been infected by brushing their wounds
against those of a poem. In the pastoral areas
of the east and west, studies have shown
that institutions can sense and will reject
an infected poet 100 percent of the time.
Unless someone teaches a course that feeds on living,
human poets, there will be no life in their poems,
no warmth in their words.

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