In Kentucky they look with bland indifference
upon poets, sneering with Skoal-edged disdain,
thinking poets possessed of little, if any, sense,
like rainmakers dancing without a drop of rain.
They think we cannot do needful jobs
like carpentry, plumbing, trucking, and welding,
and so dismiss us as useless, unemployed slobs,
“poet” being a byword for a feckless gelding.
And many think of poetry as little more than rites,
if even that, the meat of it unfit even for tallow
to feed candles for their flickering lights,
or like a field unsown, bare and fallow.
And I know it is true, being a man of mind
enough to know the waste of his potential,
like fruit forsaken in its profligate rind,
or anything that is not practical or provincial.
Being an atheist atop that, my brain is a schism
of myth and science, fancy and reason,
smirking at rosaries, hijabs, and catechism,
yet flown away with pagan spirits of each season.
I feel, at times, a psychologist in his chair
listening to myself as I lay upon the couch,
knowing each diagnosis a waste of air—
whether it actually helps, I cannot avouch.
But like gravity it is what I am compelled to obey,
whether it is a mania, an indulgence, or a curse;
when Life adorns itself with a revelation each day
I testify with my meager means the universe.

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