I Want to Hear Poetry

I want to hear poetry
heave from dry mouths
of pedestrians on Broadway,
Meter maids recite Whitman
I want to hear poetry
When Iím driving in my car
I want street signs to read:
ďtwo roads diverged in a woodĒ,
Iíll choose the way from there,
I want to hear poetry
Officer, officer
when you stopped me last night
why did you ask for my license, registration
and insurance card?
why not recite verse two of
Bob Dylanís, ďPolice Dog BluesĒ
itíll do for you Mr. Officer
because, I want to hear poetry
When Iím on a date
donít patronize me
with your mascara and good looks,
just quote a line from Frank OíHara
or Gwendolyn Brooks
I want to hear poetry
When weíre at the restaurant
donít push todayís special on me
just serve up an entree`
of romantic realist cuisine:
a platter of Wordsworth and Coleridge,
a side of Ferlinghetti, with beets
A dish of Dante, extra spicy!
A snifter of Sonia Sanchez
A tumbler of Yusef Komunyakaa
A shot of Jack
and do me a favor,
put that Allen Ginsberg in a doggy bag
I want to hear poetry
When Iím watching TV
donít assume political correctness, Connie Chung
just slide some Basho
off your wriggly tongue
I want to hear poetry
When the commercials come on
donít tell me itís better in the Bahamas
Yes, I know itís been a long winter
and I could use a tan.
Just give me my pajamas
and some Kahlil Gibran
I want to hear poetry

copyright 1998, 2002, Frank Messina

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