If I write an academic poem
it will probably be
Every day I tell myself
that when I open my mouth
I’m going to say something
stable and sane
and full of apparent truth.
But then I shout something discordant.
My sister says
I’m obsessed with academia.
I do enjoy talking to professors.
Oh, I know what it is!
I want to be something
and not be something
at the same time.
A cardinal alights near where I smoke.
Before this exile
seeing a cardinal in St Louis
was a rare treat. Let me revert
to college and my he’s-got-his-shit-together
mentor. When I complained my crazy poems
would keep me out of academia, he cried,
Matt, no professors read contemporary poetry anyway.