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When I Read a Poem 

I’m not at all patient.
If it shuffles on and begins to
Cramp my eyes with its tedium,
Or withdraws from language into
Pretty, self-absorbed sketch…
I curse its irrelevance and
Begin to look elsewhere. I don’t need
Room temperature words. I need
To read words
That grab me by my ears
And push down my face
Into the soil of meaning;
Locked autistic in the mind
Of the poet, waiting for eyes
To become ears, for the trysting
Completing the connection
For which it was fashioned.
The reader completes, blesses, makes
Words mean the dream.
The reader has become the fellow
At the pub, the longed for friend at the bar
With beer and pretzels and freundschaft.

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Speaking of Poetry

  • A poem by Robert Phelps

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