A Poem for the Rolling Hills and Lovers of Cheap Moonshine

Phtograph by Jose Padua
So much of the time my pants are
down when I read a poem. There are
so many books of poetry in my
bathroom, so many lines to separate,
so many words to join. Sometimes
there’s an image I love, an idea
that binds me to it like a motion
I repeat until my mind is clear,
and as I grow older I find that
I need to spend more time here.
When my pants are down and
I read I’m free, and what were
once plain words become beautiful
words. Poetry can be so horrible
when you’re sitting at a table practicing
perfect posture: I don’t care if “each
day we go about our business” and
“the best minds of my generation”
can get fucked. What did they ever
do for me? If you give me a poem
and I don’t like you I will read it
standing up, my back against
the wall; I’ll pretend I’m waiting
in line in a place where there is
no line. When I really want to like
a poem I pull down my pants. Then
I pull them up and write my own
until you are ready to pull yours
down again, on a gray and cloudy
morning when the grass is damp and
the birds have stopped falling from the sky.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua


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