Kenneth Tanemura


To Marina Tsvetaeva

I recite your poetry in a cafe and above the
din of American conversation it is out of context:
I look, as if to say, shut up,
silence is sweeter.  Shut up.
Silence is musical in comparison.
I put down your book, it is
almost heartbreaking to know that you
who broke this mechanical talk
between the prosaic and prosaic,
with air filled with silences and
breath of rage and tenderness,
hung from a noose tied by your own hands.
Your words light larger fires,
make the American banter almost unbearable,
still I will take your music,
and let it numb me to the pinprick
of prose thoughts in prose expression,
until I grasp the music of a room or a yard or street,
stripped of the din of American conversation.




Poetry Is-

Poetry is a dripping faucet
letting fall
drop after drop of water
with the regularity of a clock ticking or
a light bulb glowing

It is the profusion of blood
caused by a small prick
resisting dabs of tissue paper
the stream of cold water
band aids

Poetry is what you do
when kisses are scarce
when you need to convince yourself
they will soon be
as common as roses and
paper plates

Poetry is a voice
thrown over a fence at night
an unbaited hook
A seduction
in an empty room


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