Ode to the Cantos

Ah, to be Ezra Pound for a day; to compose an intensely complex and almost unintelligible series of poems fueled by an unwavering desire to be misunderstood, misinterpreted and misled.

Ah, for the Cantos, those bright shining things,
that late in my life, subtle madness may bring,
so I may excuse any ill-thought out words
and spend my late afternoons feeding the birds.
To fund an asylum, and check myself in
and thereby escape the world’s deafening din
I shall write until blinded by weak light and gin
and collect random royalties, raking it in.

To defraud all the poseurs, shall be my great feat,
and while they sit watching, their theses I’ll eat
with a helping of hand-me-down bastardized verse,
or maybe their own poems, which would be worse.
I’ll call myself Ezra, though not of that name
and herald the coming of poets of fame
whilst threading new words on the needle of time
and once in a great while, I may even rhyme.

A poet, a prophet, a seer of truth,
That often when dining requests their own booth,
and sups on the bitter, bold fruit of the vine
while reading reviews on this project of mine:
The rebirth of Poetry, strange and unheard
That strangles definitives with the absurd
and coughs forth, like hairballs, the torrent of words
from some unseen spring, and then retails the merde.

Of course, it’s just nonsense, as you and I know –
but never the prize went to simple and slow;
For art is a servant, and works for a price
(and as Dali proved, it oft can be sold twice).
So off to the writing desk, raven in hand,
I shall shuffle to sit, for no more I can stand;
And dear friends, remember, it could be much worse –
for the muses have landed and are parched with thirst.

A drink to the poet, although there’s no ale,
and hats off to Ezra, whose verse never pales;
For workers in prosody, un-sung or -cheered
Who struggle with meter, whose minds never clear
But seek for the vision inside of us all
And reach ever onward, and oft trip and fall;
Their hands on the empty space, eyes on the goal –
The illumination of mystery’s soul.

12 DEC 2002

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