I was talking
to my therapist
about poetry,

how poetry
is a subculture
and still,

out of the many
it remains one, unpopular.

And I wonder why, right?
I mean, sometimes it rhymes
and sometimes it doesn’t.

that’s confusing
for some.

You hear a guitar strum,
you know vocals come
and then that rhythm.

But then there’s that
uncanny thing about
Bach and Mozart, Poe, and Thoreau.

And then Kerouac,
and then Curtis Mayfield
and Gil Scott Heron.

And if video killed
the radio star,
it put the poet

so cold in the dark,
they can’t get out
to fill one coffee shop.

But with complex phonetics
from alphabet poets
to esoteric Aesop lyricists,

from punchline spiritualists
and smoked out Cypress
to the Mighty Mighty Mos,

there are
still poets
out on the shelf.

And to all them
poets who write
in their notebooks–

’cause bleeding ink
lets them think–
and in their free time

fill up lines
with each
liquid rhyme,

there is still
one brave YouTuber
opening up

a cardboard box.
And in that box?
It’s a mystery.

But stay on,
and listen to him,
her, they will

take a box cutter
and let you know
what’s in that mutha.

And you will stand,
still captivated,
and in that box

we’ll celebrate
the primate poet who
sits on busses,

in heavy coats,
writing solitary notes,
unboxing poems.


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His third book, Train of Thought 2: Almost Home is available now at the Oddball Book Store.