They're All Bleepin' Poets, Jack

by Con Chapman

Occasionally I will pick up a quarterly—
As a budding poet, to do what I oughterly,
And peruse the pages for helpful examples
That I can crib or use as samples.


But I find the stuff in the little rags
To be little wind in little bags.
It's all a bit—how you say—
Etiolated, recherché.


Instead of a hearty, four-course meal
You get a whiff of chamomile
Purple prose on scented papier
Phlox and myrtle and chine de crepier.


Or else it goes in the other direction
And has the appeal of a bio dissection.
Some guy talking about his wife's, uh, groin,
Or diarrhea, verse of that coin.

Not for me that kind of stuff
I like my poetry sturdy and ruff.
The kind I hear on the streets that I walk
That tradesmen and hostlers produce when they talk.


“Woman and a baby, comin' through,”
Says the stevedore pushing his dolly at you.
“You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here,”
The barkeep says as he draws the last beer.
“So I sez to him I sez,”
Quoth the cabbie in his hack.
They're all bleepin' poets, jack.


“Are you all right, or is the world all wrong?”
The streetwalker says with the lilt of a song,
“I hod ta loff,” says the man who ain't laughing
And then goes back to his wheat and chaffing.
The used car salesman who with mortal chagrin
Has to talk to his manager in back.
They're all bleepin' poets, jack.


“Keep the lipstick off your dipstick”
Says the long-haul trucker  who you think a hick,
“And your nose out of panty-hose,”
Comes the reply on the CB radio,
The auto mechanic horizontal on his creeper
Grease on his face, flat on his back,
They're all bleepin' poets, jack.


Just because they don't write their words down
Doesn't mean that it ain't art.
You can get edified just walkin' around town
And by chiming in you can do your part.
In art as in life there's no white and no black—
They're all bleepin' poets, jack.