Howard Firkin
So you’re a poet now. You worked for it.
And were inspired, too—don’t get me wrong—
your hard work only polished polished song;
precise as any jigsaw, your words fit.
The picture looks exactly like the box.
I wish I had that dedication, too.
I wish I had that sureness of the rules,
the knowledge and the skill to silence fools,
awe academics, but to stay still true
to something secret which no line unlocks.

So I’m a reader now. I paid for it.
I’ve got the book before me now. I see
the words. I underline, admire a bit,
and hate the words I read which now define me.