Saturday, May 10, 2008


It was not a poem,
     in one sense,
it was a meta-poem,
          a poem about poetry,
although the term “meta-”
     comes from the Greek word “after”,
because Aristotle’s books on
were those written after
          his books on physics.
Thus the word “meta-”
     took on a life of its own.

So was it a poem about poetry,
     or was it a poem after poetry?
In the South—southern United States—
we say when someone is after someone,
     they are out to get them,
that is when they are after them
     they means them harm.
So was it a poem out to get
     to do poetry irreparable harm?

Of course, then there is the idea “after”—
what is poetry if it comes after poetry,
is it still poetry?
is it more poetry?
Why isn’t it with poetry to begin with,
why does it come after?

If it is a poem written after a poem—
is that plagiarism?
isn’t that copying someone else’s
isn’t that what it means: done after
          Ezra Pound’s “Cantos”?
So who is the poem copying anyway?

And if it wasn’t really a poem,
     but a meta-poem,
what was it: prose? a song?
     a legal treatise on thirteenth century

If it wasn’t a poem,
     what was it after?