Be Gentle, Verse, And Not a Curse
In our first draft, when I submitted my working heart to her, “Did you enjoy reading my poem?” Her editorial was politely rubber-stamped, “Yes, it’s nice, but I’m not really a poetic person.” Then she amended with a postscript - something about “metrophobia.” I jerked back with a quick wit, “If you have a fear and hatred for the city or its bus, move to the country or ride horse and wagon.”
After rosier words were lofted, I bled for better praises to my verses: Did my sonnet console your trouble soul? Did my ballad fashion your passion? Did my allegory toy with your joy? Did my satire wild your inner child?
Instead of loving criticism, excuses were dittoed in: The “Sorry.” The “Can’t.” The “Not now.” Or the ever-ready “Maybe later.”
As more poetic verses were liberated, alliterated then reintegrated, I yearned for her war cry in hard-binding my chapbook, in bebopping my lyrically speaking CD, or in psychoanalyzing my id toward upcoming featurette.
Instead, her alibi became guiltily ill:
I won’t have the time until I first finish my speed reading class.
I’m in the middle of my income tax booklets and I got to know how it ends.
I fell off a ladder, and I landed on my reading eyes.
My mind feels obese; I need to lose some thoughts first.
Not tonight, I lost my sensitivity.
You’re a nice guy, but I’m reading somebody else’s stuff right now.
It’s not you. It’s me. I am not ready for a real, deep, committed reading relationship
One day you will find someone who will be just perfect for your type of poetry.
My friends don’t think your love verses are good enough for me.
Last night I went to a paperback party; next thing I knew I woke up with a better write
That was when she red-penned me with a “Dear John (Donne) Letter.”
I do not like poetry, Sam-I-am,
especially with green eggs and ham.
I would not read them
here or there.
I could not read them
I would not,
could not in the key of G,
nor while I pee.
Now, let me be!
After the paper cut had scabbed over, spoken words bounced back to her phobic plea. The dictionary spelled it out: me∙tro∙pho∙bi∙a (n.) the abnormal and persistent fear or hatred of poetry.
So dear poets, communicate kindly. Metrophobia is a grave and deafened illness. Do not infect those lobes with your communicable odes, because sometimes end-rhyme is not as sublime if it speaks checkout time.