The first ones they killed were the poets.
They crowned themselves, the sterile
And sexless acorns who fell from the felled
And split the air, writing with bark,
Would have us not desire experience
But describing trees. To the naked kings
The word is a wonder, a tool to be used
Like any other. With a forge, they called
An altar, they pitted heaven and made miners
Of the Gods. In high places they read
Their grounded works, sogged with rain
Water from a red wheelbarrow, they list
And bludgeon us with their hammered similes,
Scribe their poems, they are the painters of one
Colour and high priests of alchemy, turning
Salon into echelon. When the falcon stoops
They name him hawk. Standing ****, flat-footed,
In bumpy skin, their honks go unanswered,
For they are no kin to the swan that glides
And sometimes they remember that,
The first ones they killed were the poets,
When the sky is etherized, prose made
Verse and their subjects yawn the great
Slaving maw. Steeped in stale erudition,
They man-scaped the garden, pulled out
The weeds and by their words, they decreed
That only grass should grow, in strident
Chorus they are ringing in the sheaves.
But their poems are only like poems.
The naked kings are clothed in word only.
In the thirsty kingdom, water spills
Stagnant from the stein and the droplets
Echo, "there's no there . . . there."
Incestuously they christened
Each other, one hundred years of virgins
Making love with a dead word
They know not of— Poet! Asters
Among the daisies, yet on the fields
Of praise, they shall deflower
Themselves and though they strut
And prance as stallions and mares,
You will know them by their brays.