Not that Jane Shore

O merriest, wiliest, and holiest of harlots! ~ Edward IV

The poet works the room the way she works words.
Her students lead thesauresed lives,
ape tropes poached from livid legends,
derive new meanings from stale or stolen selves:

the somnolent Teutonic wag who trails
in the wake of his dark, squat, sarcastic
and loquacious comrade in barb├Ęd harms
whose eyes aim not to see but to shield;

the white-eyed teen in flannel
and jeans whose threadbare knees
have been patched/repatched not in fashion
but in desperate needling for attention;

the goateed sculptor who has no further wont
of cheap whiskey to indulge intoxication,
who desires nothing beyond some boozing end
as read in Hemingway, Faulkner, or Bukowski—

who would prefer to be Anne Sexton
prefer to be depressed,
and famous,
and brilliant,
and adored,
and abusive,
and die in a garage.

Who would not rather be Jane (but not that Jane),
and be sparkling,
and buxom,
as waves of adulant attention
wash over her in a redolent glow?
Yes, even men would like to be Jane.

Is this really the way words work?

About Greg Wright

I have worn many hats as a writer and editor over the years. Unlike my scholarly and journalistic work from the "old days" at Hollywood Jesus, Past the Popcorn, or SeaTac Blog, the writing here is of a more overtly personal and spiritual nature. I hope it provokes you as much as it provokes me.
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