A poem's pretty, yes,

But best when

Snarly imps swim

Just beneath the lilies.


No dandies here —

Only madmen, loners,

Ragmen, songsters,

Skillful silversmiths

Shape-shaking shudderwords

That crumbleslide foundations.


That gentle scribbler over there

Eats fire for breakfast,

Like a samurai

Cleaving his poems with

Twin gleaming swords a-blur.

He wrestled a prominent

Vampire 'cross the lawn last night,

Broke that honored neck,

Drank respectable blood,

Transformed it into roaring wordsongs—

I saw dripping when he grinned.


Terror waits below

The skyblue surface,

Not for audacious seekers (who

Know the mind's ways well),

But for the merciless smug ones

Who pillage, hoard and snore,

And think a poem's

Heart is only flowers.

A Poem's Heart