Poem: The Old Poet Pontificates


The Old Poet Pontificates

The old poet took a deep drag on his home-made cigarette,
held the pungent smoke in for a minute or more
and breathed out, the air nearly clear,
every dark stain left somewhere deep inside him.
He sipped his Jack neat.

“Poetry is like a knife.” he said,
“wield it carefully for in the end someone always bleeds,
and for a moment, like a paper God, you decide who,
or at least that is what you believe.
In the end, if you write it well,

it will always be you whose blood slips from the wound.”

About this poem.

I have written several of these “Old Poet” poems over the past couple of years, enough of them that people ask me if there really is an “Old Poet”.

There is.

These poems are modeled after my memory of Robert Hazel, a wonderful poet from North Carolina and my first creative writing teacher. I loved Robert, even though he was a serious reprobate and not a very good teacher.

But if you caught him off hours, with a bourbon or few in him (not a hard thing to do.), he rambled, and I learned more about poetry and art in his ramblings than I ever did from his classes. It’s his fault that I am a poet. I doubt it ever would have come out without him.


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