Letter To The Poet, Loriette


for Sheryl Noethe


A quick note, Doll,

to lift you up,

to let you know

you are The Shit.

You really represent

it, poetry, the generosity,

the exploding heart

and the pure human disease

of fear swimming deep

in the marrow of our bones.


A poet’s job is to speak

the truth

as they know it

at any given moment

in the pulse of sunrise

or in the shrill glare

of their own blindness.


The poet’s task

is to capture the glib

grail and the drunken tool.

The biggest challenge

for a decorated

representative of poetry

is in negotiating

the minefield of proper behaviors

and that stormy sea of cold

steely eyes peering down

long noses to insist you dance

blandly to their off-key


then bow falsely

to collect your ball and chain.


You know my advice, Lori,

for a poet pressured

to politely pose under wreath,

cloaked in perfumed

political robes, and told to smile

and wave with lips closed—

Dearest, just tell them

to go fuck themselves.

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