Take Off Your Parentheses And Let It All Hang Out

Punctuation is like clothing.

Formal prose is like a job interview: you wear the best clothes you’ve got. Everything must be in its proper place; no stray cuff-links, no buttons unbuttoned–everything arranged in just the right way, so that nobody has anything to criticize.

“How ’bout dialogue?”

“Dialogue’s casual, you use commas where semi-colons belong, dialogue is what you wear when you hang out with friends, know whu’m sayin?”

But poetry
Poetry is sex
For poetry, you can wear whatever you like
You can come to poetry wearing only a necktie!
And {lacy black garter belts}
Or three, pairs’ of, mis’matched, socks’
To peel off one by one

But most of the time
You won’t wear anything at all
Disregarding conventions
Exhilarating in the freedom of cool air on bare skin

Which isn’t to say there aren’t rules
But they’re more like those of Calvinball
Where the most important rule is
“Never the same way twice”

Because it is a game
Not a job or obligation
Not a transaction
It’s exploring what’s left of you
When you shed all of your outsides
What elements are authentic parts of you
And what sticks to the cotton and denim

And you won’t be good the first time
Nobody’s good the first time
Or most of the other times
If we’re not just being kind
But performance is secondary to passion
So do it poorly or perfectly
But however you do it
Do it with all your heart.

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This entry was posted in Poetry, Sex and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Take Off Your Parentheses And Let It All Hang Out

  1. The Modern Leper says:

    The Calvinball reference made my day. I love your work and hope you don’t get hit by a bus or something.

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