I was 19 when I shook my first fistful of
poetry at His Grace, "The Editor". Each page
carefully pre-crafted for His consideration.
My genesis of pain and pen and paper.
They had lain on His desk at least a week when I,
Impatient Poet, had searched Him out—Hijacked Him
in the stairwell of the 6th or 7th floor and
demanded His attention one flight up, His parlor
office filled with His dance-floor desk and His fancy
banker's chair. I should have known. I waited for the
sheaf of poems that bore my name and agony
so clearly to appear upon the velvet shoulders
of certain victory. I waited for His Grace
to bend, to me, His knee and pledge the fealty that
I had already agreed upon and accepted
must occur. I should have known. I should have known when
I saw the brass-chrome name-plate turned towards His chair—
the only one. I should have known His name. He passed
my poems of war across the Maginot dance-
floor desk and smiled, "You can't say that," He said. Say what?
and He pointed. I had used, sparingly, I thought,
an earthen word. The excremental noun. ****.
Rejection was swift. Redemption beyond reach.
Respect was all that remained to be plundered.
"Change it," He said, "Change it" "Change it" "Change it." I will not!
"You must!" Never! I took the page, folded it away
and left to stumble flights of stairs and into the
sudden grey of decades passing. He should have known
I would remember. He should have guessed at least the
manner of His demise. ******* Souls: The mantra
of his poem-book found in the Fraser Valley
Regional Library Discards. I was ecstatic.
Here He was without the flights of indignity
and now I owned Him. I have chanted His verse.
Rolled each syllable around my mouth until they
were smooth as riverbends against my teeth while the
voodoo dance of Change It, Change It, Change It echoes
and I revise His poetry.
1975 or so.
Not all poems survive. I've lost a few and let others go. My current collection of poems is available on Kindle and in paperback. It is called "3201 e's" (that is approximately how many e's are in the manuscript which is a very unpoetic title but a reflection on the creation of poetry by common means.)