Mark Scroggins


In Praise of Sheetrock

"I can’t bear to think, the thought’s so maudlin, That folks prefer poetry to dear Wystan Audlen" --Anon As I walked out one evening, Walking on George Bush Street, The crowds upon the pavement no, wait a m-m-moment,-- And then went down to the ship, set Needle to groove, forth on a child asked me, what is the grass, bringing it to me in great rolled bundles of the American Book Review tired of those phoney poets whose verse doesn’t tell you what you need to know? take the everyday, suburban, lyric sublime--please! (excuse me sir, sub-Poconos gags are unwelcome in this establishment--boy my arms are tired! but seriously, folks the heron at daybreak, epiphany of girl beside the road blow it out your ass an aggressive, faltering, but thoroughly unconfused approach to little more than a boy on a girl’s bike, groceries on a handlebar basket I wanted to write a poem that even you couldn’t understand, but I’m too fucking stupid how does one work the verb "impact" into a Petrarchan sonnet? with a crowbar I wanted to unleash that burning, festering volcanic energy into a form whose balanced measures would teach the word to sing but I’d lost the condom in my wallet I think free verse, on the whole, is like playing tennis with a racket up your bum oh, Mr. Meese, did that whining little bastard upset your brunch? hanging’s too good for 'im, let’s make the cocksucker do an oral report on the primary exports of sixteen midwestern states are you being served, folks? Dear R, I found your latest slim volume of thoughtful and expressive verse exceedingly useful (could you have the next one simply printed on toilet paper?) for all of his wit and erudition, Jonathan Swift’s delight in scatalogical detail has disturbed more than one of the academy’s most prominent turd-eaters some words are never used in a poem: for instance, one would never rhyme "lute" with "Butte" Dear S, perhaps your appeal to higher authority would be more readily accepted if you simply had your fucking teeth removed examining "the growth of a poet’s mind" is far less interesting than checking out his genitals (easier to get ahold of, and famous for producing well-wrought urine) missing from Holmes’s brilliant and sensitive biography, this reviewer regrets, is any account of Coleridge’s difficulties in getting the elaborate "Piss Off, Tottenham Blue" tattoo removed anal intercourse is still outlawed in some seventy-two states, but we’ll make an exception in your case thank you for allowing us to review your poems for brackets our magazine here close brackets, but we adhere to a policy of only publishing work that excites us either formally or thematically, or by poets whose HIV tests have turned out negative blue day like few I’ve seen, or few I’ve written about your request for an extended credit line has been denied: please drop this letter, bend over, and squeal like a pig so you want to be a significant contemporary poet, well listen now to what I say Mona Van Duyn we love you (please) get up!