O Starving Poet

by Jerry Ratch

A novel is an idea that has

Survived many severe beatings

While a poem is a homely thing that was

Never even asked to the dance


Art Speak, however, is the art of

Systematically overstating and

Re-inventing the Obvious to the point of

Distraction, or extinction. Or annoyance


I know this because I was giving a speech

At the Centre for Cultural Sled-Dogs in Paris

When I spotted the mother of all Cheerios

Sticking to the floor


I had to pause, undecided

Whether or not to pounce

I was so hungry for life

But I didn't want to give up the podium


It had been so long since a poet

Was invited to speak. Still, that mega-Cheerio

Was calling out my name: Starving Poet

O Starving Poet