10 August 2011

ten reasons i should be the next poet laureate of the u.s.

In honor of the new U.S. Poet Laureate, Philip Levine, I've created a list of ... Okay, wait, let me start over. This has nothing to do with Philip Levine, though I offer many congratulations for the announcement that he is the new Poet Laureate of the United States. But as a poet, I have to dream big, and when announcements of this nature come out a poet like me can only ask, Why not me? Maybe not today ... maybe not in the next ten years ... but maybe, just maybe, someday. And so, I came up with ten fantastic (not really) reasons why I should be the next Poet Laureate of the U.S. ... the next PLUS, if you will (which you probably won't ... I wouldn't either).

I am pretty young
Able to maintain the role
‘til I’m pretty old

Kaleidoscopic—that’s me, in a word
However you take my many turns
Always shifting, changing, eyes on the times
Ready for the new wave
Aching for the chance to prove it, too

Just for you--hush, it's a little secret--
I’ll write a poem—you can keep it

I am
Hip like your momma’s thigh
Cool like your daddy’s aftershave—
All that.

There once was a poet named Khara
Who really just wanted to share a
Small gift with the world
And maybe you’ve heard
She’d share it with you if you’d care-ah

Always eager to
Be the best she
Can, ready to
Ease the world into versed lines.
Frankly, what more do you need?

Okay, here is the truth:
I’m really not that great.
But, please, withhold your hate;
That would make you uncouth.

Now here’s another fact:
I’m actually quite fine.
And before you react,
I’ll move to number nine.

I’d love to serve you—
All the world, poetically.
I’d do it for free.
Wouldn’t charge a single dime.
Come on—call me laureate!

I think by now we all know I don’t have a single good reason to be poetic laureate of the United States … or a single state. Or one of the small islands of the Susquehanna River. Or a cloud drifting over the Atlantic Ocean. But poets have to dream, and dream big—otherwise, what’s it for? Maybe, just maybe, it could be for small dreams, too; they do, after all, tend to grow with time, like promise, and hope, and other untouchable things. And maybe my untouchable thing, for now, could be a dream, a hope, the half-thought notion, of someday being that big. Holding out no other offering than a few words scrapped together on a few loose leaves, up to the sky, where maybe no one but the wind will take them.

... so, what do you say, America?

Check out some of the work of our new Poet Laureate, by visiting Philip Levine's Amazon Author Page!

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