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And the dream poem, which all poems envy and connive to become.
And the naked poem, lacking underwear, thrusting hard abs.
And the great poem, stitched from husks, from high-pitched wings.
And the pure poem—the diamond lyric—that is, the absent text.
And the project poem, booting its laptop, blogging out its heart.
And the prize poem, fleshy with ego, stinking of zoos and sex.
And the prayer poem, hooked addict, still stuttering God.
And the avant poem, bloody samurai, never again so red.
And the failed poem, like many, cursing Mother and Father.
And the love poem, loading its bullet lipstick, detonating its Buddha.
And the famed poem, smug as hope, outrunning skulls.
And the conceptual poem—ideal purge—Mutt's soiled urinal.
And the forgotten poem, set free at last, guffawing at its luck.
Is that all?—but for the rasping, breathless, newborn caterwaul?
And the anonymous poem, signed under torture, blinded like Justice.

2011: 10/02-06, 11/23

Prior versions: A Festschrift for Clayton Eshleman, The Columbia Review, and