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The test of such poetry
is that it discomfits.
                - Charles Bernstein



The lake trout is not a furious animal, for which I apologize that you have the mental capacity of the Anchovy.



Yes the greatest of your sister's facial pimples did outweigh a Turkey.



I was eating Vulture Beast Cream, I was eating Lippy Dung Corn, and I said "Your ugly dog is very ugly," for he is.



And that is when I turned and a snowflake banged into my eye like a rusty barge and I killed your gloomy dog with a mitten.



For I have bombed your cat and stabbed it. For I am the ambassador of this wheelbarrow and you are the janitor of a dandelion. Indeed, you are a teacher of great chickens, for you are from the town of Fat Blastoroma, O tawdry realtor. For I have clapped your dillywong in a sizeable door.



You have an achey knee which is where I clubbed your achey and pompous knee. I shoot your buffalo, may you be hanged by the upper lip and somehow burned in a canoe.



Is your butt driving through traffic that it should toot so at the world? I am averse to urine, yet I shake your hand upon occasion;



I have made a whiskey of your tears - and Joe-Bob made a flu-liqueur of your night-mucus;



That some of your gas has been banging around the market like a small soldier carrying a table. God booby.[1]



I overlook your titties. Your sneeze erased the blackboard and your cough knocked a dog into loneliness;



For you remind me of a dog hurled over a roof - yapping to no effect. And furthermore the habitual peristalsis in your bowels sounds like a barfight in a whale. In addition, that as a boy you lassoed storks with a petty friend named Jerry.



And just as you swallowed a cherry's stone and produced a tree, you recently ate a burger and found a bull honking among your feces.



For I would more expect a Pigeon to tote a rifle



than a wise syllable issue from your cheesepipe.



And as your nose is packed with Error I advise you to pick it often.



For you are a buttock.

Indeed you are the balls of the bullock and the calls of the peacock; you are the pony in the paddock near the bullock and the peacock; you are the futtock on the keel and the fetlock (or the heel) of the pony in the paddock:



Indeed you are the burdock on the fetlock and the beetle on the burdock and the mite on the beetle on the burdock on the fetlock of the pony in the paddock and the padlock of the gate of the paddock of the bullock and the peacock.



Thus with you I am fed-up. For you are Prufrock and I am Wild Bill Hickok at a roadblock with the wind in my forelock and a bullet in my flintlock. You are Watson I am Sherlock.



For you are the hillock and I am the hill; I am Hitchcock, O Buttock. You - are Cecil B. De Mille.



Yes you have thrown a squirrel at me which came through the air like a disjointed hairbrush.



I will clean your nose with a bundle of flaming spikenard.



That a brick might fit in your butt, and an arrow vacation in your eyeball. That I have mentioned y our red butt before - and why should your butt be red, except by inappropriate use.



The fact that the sequins on your dress caused you to look like the instrument panel of an airliner during a three-engine flame-out did not escape anyone's attention;



That your heart is a colostomy bag[2] and your brain is the Peanut of Abomination.[3] And that the cake frosting you just ate is actually earwax.



I saw your mother standing naked next to a bowl of bananas; one of them was missing.



And since suing you would be like suing a squirrel, and since I would rather eat a mixture of powdered mummy and water than talk with you again,[4] I will try to punch your head hard enough[5] so that you will not dare chase me, but not so hard that others will hunt me.



For you have killed my family[6] and I have killed your dog, your bird, and the mouse of your daughter;



Your cousins Rosie, Yolanda, Amelia, Harriet, Johanna, and Carol have all been decapitated.



But we pushed Judy over a cliff.[7]



Just as the fog is shackled to the dirty valley stream and cannot go out loosely to join the loopy clouds who contain hollering eagles and whooshing falcons but must stand low and bound and suffer the scratch of a bush and the round poop of deer and the odd black spoor of the American black bear or the bump of a car on a road or the sick crashes of paintings thrown from a rural porch, so also is your mind bound to the low reach of trash and the wet wan game of worms and the dripping dick of a torpid dog - and unlike the clouds above you you do not feel swell but clammy and pokey and sweaty: a leaf-smell follows you, odd breezes juke your brook-chaff, lambs and rachel-bugs go up and forth in you, and when a car passes through you, windows down, the car-pillows in that car get puffy, absorbing water in the air, and those pillows become bosoms, gaseous moving bosoms, and that is the nearest you come to bosoms.



For these reasons and more, Dolores rightly asked as you walked by, "What is that smell that smells so much it is audible, is it a spoor?" I said it is the smell of a dillywong slammed in a door.



Or the Dingleberry of Reason.



Some have called your mouth Bippy-Swingset, and someone who seemed to resemble your physician called the orifice in question the birth-hole of a Raven, whereas it is common knowledge all Ravens are born in burning forests, for the beast is a charred contraption, being well-cooked and near dead. Some say that Crows are born out of a sail's white leeward wall, others that thun Crow is as an millet-corporal to the Raven's brook-colonel, that a pelican has goiter and that a Crow is in truth the silhouette of a gull knocked loose from that gull, which can happen in the case of an Sudden Explosion, where, in the afterclap and initial desolation, gulls will breach the sky with such celerity their silhouettes break free and fall like dark packs to the ground, which is why the crow is a kind of angry bird, being now without grace and having a charred voice. Some insist the crow is in fact a drunk, though at which saloon he find his beer or how he should pay for it, or whether he have beer, port, or an highball, these "poets" will not aver: either way he follows not the Doctrine of Christ and is a derisive and condemnable bird and ought therefore to be avoided and never frighten a gull. Another annoying beast can be the Squirrel. For he is midget blowhard.



And like a pipe thrown at an eagle I will send you folding to the humpy.



I heard you once enquiring how you were born and I told you then you were created because your mother subjected her privates to the attentions of a bull. Which is why you insist a cow says Ma when it is clearly saying Moo.



For: There was an Bee, who, flinging himself against his shadow in a Brooke, did drown, and so washed of his own Enmity, he did sail like a dark and brittle Bubble, to the general amphitheater of the Sea, where he was drowned a second time. Thus first he was sunk from Life and second from the Known; and now lies twice dead. Like this captious Bee, you will drop from the world and sink to oblivion.









A Defense of Poetry was previously published in the print magazine Conduit