Thursday, August 06, 2009

Dale Favier, Poet

I don't want to think of myself as a poet.
Don't want to be anxiously scanning my thoughts
looking for ones that might become poems.
Don't want to write as poems things that ought to be prose
because I am a poet. Don't want
to have a business card that says
Dale Favier, Poet
on it, because
well, one,
most of my poems are not very good,
and, two,
I don't want to lease out my brain or my spirit
to anyone, no matter how good a tenant
he might be. I live here.
So I will continue to write
mostly bad poems, and I will continue to post
things that aren't finished, and probably
aren't worth finishing, because
I need a place to live.

I am a poet. Okay. That means
I'm allowed to have affairs and mishandle money:
It means I'm more equal than people who write prose
and even more equal than people who write nothing.
I am a poet, and that means Li Bai and Shakespeare
will drink with me in the Elysian fields, surrounded
by houris and dakinis.

That sounds nice. But there's such a thing
as being too big for your britches.
Really I am the halfbreed
Eugene-Springfield mix,
son of the paper mill and the university,
both sides of the river, which runs away forever
with trees on either hand, the green river that,
riddling and laughing, pulls down bridges
as it goes; sucking poison from the fields
and spitting it into the sea; the river, really
I am the river, I am nothing else. The rain
all empties into my throat, and I piss it all
into old Ocean. There's such a thing
as being too big for your bridges.

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