The Coil
Published in

The Coil

In the Poetry Section of Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

Poem by Zoe A. Jaimot

When you ask me where are the poets of today —

I can answer you emphatically
that I have seen them skulking
among empty spaces full of pages —

When you ask me where are these modern versifiers —

I can tell you that I have seen them
continually among a fog of books —

And I have seen these geniuses of writing classes
haphazardly thumb through volumes
while they sit among smashed verbs —
that go nowhere on shelves
inscribed and perfect bound
with words that would be
wishing wells for these thick talkers —
for these borrowers of sentiment —

for these poets that carefully
coif and spike their outer anonymity
with streaks of purple angst —
looking like rock stars drugged
by just the proper dactyls
of urban trendiness while
these same self-proclaimed new age poets
circle endlessly in apparent boredom —
like vultures eyeing these aisles to swoop
on those unsuspecting few —

who stop unaware
of this purposely planned introduction
to the “rap” and “spin” of modern verse —

Today’s poets spring silently at their prey —
on boots better made for stomping than alliteration —
and casually pluck their own books from the racks —
and smile with a look of practiced sincerity —
while turning to say, “This person’s pretty good” —
and then ask, “Have you read anything by them?” —
“You really should, you know,” they say
with just a tinge of hipster / peer pressure in their tone —
“Everyone says it’s better than an orgasm,” they add
hoping to lure you with visions of quick sex —
always remembering to look deeply
as they speak the false phrases —
hoping by the guile of personality
to achieve an apotheosis —
they could never reach by words
better left honestly alone.

Third place winner of the 2008 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry.

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Literature to change your lightbulb.

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Coil Poetry

Coil Poetry

Poetry at The Coil: An Independent Literary Magazine at http://thecoilmag.com. Contact Poetry Editor Lewis J. Phillips at poetry@thecoilmag.com. #CoilMag