To Dennis Kim (Victim Of Poetry)
I read the headline slowly, a second time,
Just to be sure:
“Aspiring Poet Drowns in Hudson Trying to Save Poems”
It seems a young body threw itself into the river
Chasing its paper heart and soul
As they sank to the black bottom below
Held hostage in a backpack.
Seems even the lightweight models
Aren’t quite light
Someone should have told him,
Warned him of the truth:
Poetry is in the writing, not on the paper.
Paper words merely mimic the mind,
Cheaper by the dozen
One thousandth of a picture.
Sometimes you get a “hmmm” and a wink
From a reader in Des Moines,
And frankly, that should suffice.
By all means, share your thoughts.
Mind and body are for the taking
And the giving.
But for God’s sake guard your heart and soul,
Back them up from time to time,
For when these are left lying around carelessly,
It’s bound to end badly
Sooner or later.