Author's Note: This piece was written when I had been trying for days to write something and couldn’t. In a sense, this un-poem—this hyped-up pledge of a future poem—is addressed not only to an imaginary reader but also the frustrated promoter wrote it. A new year should begin promisingly, so here’s a promise.
Advertisement for A Poem
This is going to be precisely the sort
of poem you relish most. The subject
will be one dear to your heart, the diction
not merely memorable but downright
non-biodegradable. Like a
tightrope walker avoiding the abyss
on either side, the poem will strike the
ideal balance between the cozily
familiar and the jarringly unforeseen;
its similes will be as intelligible
as this one about tightrope walking.
You’ll find this poem subtle, not esoteric;
challenging, not mystifying;
eloquent, not pompous; serious, not
solemn; humorous, not silly; charming,
not pandering; beautiful, not pretty.
It won’t have too many allusions and
they won’t be insultingly obvious
or tiresomely recherché; in fact,
we guarantee you’ll get them, just not at once.
When plants and flowers appear, they will be
identified with their proper names, likewise
foreign countries, fowl, aircraft, and public parks.
The politics of this dazzling poem
will be unexceptionable, pretty much
the same as yours. We think the poet is quite
remarkably like you, maybe a tad more
alert, sensitive, articulate, sage, a
mite more despairing in sadness, in hope
just a jot jollier. We’re all convinced
you’ll admire the captivating author of
this poem. You know, it wouldn’t surprise
us should you fantasize about the poet
as a lover, spouse, roommate, neighbor, or
benevolent despot. This poem is
by all accounts the poet’s best one ever.
In these trying times, it will buck you up,
restore your faith in those ideals you are
losing faith in, remind you why you liked
some of the poems they made you read in
high school, though you wouldn’t admit it
at the time. This poem emboldens the good,
upbraids the bad; it even knows which is which.
You have our promise that this poem is
going to galvanize you, inspire you,
console you, warm you. Above all, this poem
will be so unimpeachably sublime
you’re going to wish that you had written it.
“Advertisement for a Poem” first appeared in Autumn Sky Daily
© 2018 Robert Wexelblatt
© 2018 Robert Wexelblatt
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