Can This Be Poetry? It’s Direct, Clever and Fun!

Poetry, February 2023, celebrates William J. Harris (still living). Reading the issue’s portfolio of Harris’s poems gave me some laugh-out-loud moments. Here are two (in full):

On Wearing Ears
As long as people
continue to wear
there won’t
be much
peace and quiet
in this world.

How We Met
Barbara said,
“I got to take a shit.
Why don’t you two
Get to know each other?”

I was stunned at the refreshing paucity of hocus-posery in Harris’s statement of purpose:

Since I am a comic poet… I am always on the lookout for funny, deeply funny, humanly funny poems… My poems are as straightforward as I can make them… I want my poems to make the reader feel, understand and laugh — it is nice when a poem does all three. (Quoted from Howard Ramsby II’s introductory essay.)

Feel. Understand. Laugh. Tic. Tic. Tic. Amazing. I guess it’s poetry.

Here, in full, is another of Harris’s pieces from Poetry’s portfolio:

For Bill Hawkins, a Black Militant
Night, I know you are powerful and artistic
in your misspellings.
How distinctively I sense your brooding,
feel your warm breath against my face,
hear your laughter — not cruel only amused
and arrogant: young —
insisting on my guilt.
Night, let me be part of you
but in my own dark way.

(c) 2023 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
This entry was posted in Anthology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Can This Be Poetry? It’s Direct, Clever and Fun!

  1. Great stuff! I too like straightforward language.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.