Twenty-five years ago, McMichaels warned
his poetry students off imitative form.
I wish I could recall exactly what that is.
Something like the error of writing as
what you’re writing about. So, don’t blunder
stanzas to illustrate dunderheadedness
or dash lines harum-scarum to convey
your mood of recklessness. Anyway,
something like that. (Tried to Google. Had to abort.
It's so-so wifi, here in the food court.)
But such sensory overload just taking this seat!
I forget what got me on this topic. Now geek chic
twentysomethings, monochromatic staff,
and non-English speaking hoi polloi all shop past.
On the way here, I saw an oofty-goofty, homeless
woman, pants at her knees, hooting in distress
in the helter-skelter of Market Street. Came
the streetcar, honking, “Out of the way!”
Sirens, smoke. Then a Rastafarian rapper
started up out of tune, and all the shopping
Thursday people under the stacked vertical
fonts of bank-building signs and retail
stores… Here’s my pen. What did I mean to say?
Something about how plans gang aft agley
(another spelling I should probably look up—
and can’t with this wishy-washy hot-spot hookup).
PS: It's one of life's small victories to have posted
this poem, committed. In the mish-mash, a sign made.
BTW, an article on imitative fallacy and other literary traps.