Poem for those who dance on the graves of the dead by A.D. Winans



Hey Jack
The Poetry Flash
Finally gave you
Some space
Even if you had
To die for it

They used your name
In the same sentence as genius
Funny when you were alive
You never heard that

The Iowa Review
The Paris Review
This is not poetry
These poets dance
On the bones of the dead
They have never drank
A cup of thick black coffee
At a truck stop diner
Or walked with holes
In their shoes
Or sang the midnight blues

They shop at Macy’s
Camp out on the web
They don’t make love
They fuck
They don’t eat food
They nibble
They don’t drink
They sip

You won’t find them
In the Mission
In the Tenderloin
Or South of Market
Or standing in line
At the race track

They drink bottled water
Eat Sushi
Trade favors like
Baseball cards
They’re living proof
Of mediocrity in the arts

They’re the gravediggers
Of the Beats
Playing trick or treat
365 days a year

They never miss getting
Quoted in an obituary
They’re the paparazzi
Of poetry
Always looking for
A photo opportunity

They don’t know
The meaning of shame
To them poetry
Is a Monopoly game

Hungry for money
Hungry for power
Hungry for fame

These would be mountain men
Who set their traps with the
Ferocity of a serial killer

This is the new breed
Poetry politician
Seasoned alley cats
Hiding in sandboxes
Sharpening their claws
Looking for a back
To scratch
Staking out their territory
Like a vampire
In need of a fresh fix
Of blood

Their faces are puffy
Their handshake weak
They hover in the shadows
Like an undertaker waiting
To dress the dead

Beware my friends
Don’t die
They’ll be sniffing
At your grave

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