Posted: September 19, 2008 in Poetry

i started to name this poem “Untitled”
but then i realized this poem isn’t unnameable
it isn’t helpless
it’s not like the title fairy hopped into her
ice cream truck of title toppings
and when this poem got its fifty cents
and put on its barbie flip-flops
and ran out to its front porch
(“bye, miss muse! i’m getting a title now!”)
and started pounding the two blocks
the title fairy made it run to get the toppings
the title fairy looked in the rearview
saw the holes in its smock
saw the desperation in its eyes
saw the sweat around the coins it held
and floored it down 95 to noo yawk
the place where the poem has never been

this poem runs stag, baby.

(besides the poem would rather forget
its inopportune encounters with the title fairy
because it thinks the title fairy is a git
and they have met many times
and each time the title fairy has been a git)

this poem doesn’t need a fuckin’ title
this poem has reclaimed the title phenomenon
and turned it on its head
because it realizes that if it leaves a vacancy
the world will name it “untitled #n”
where n means “no name because the author
was too lazy to name it so it has been Untitled
and though it’s not alone
we will treat the poem as if
it were an only child and
respect its blank space”

this poem hates energy feeders
this poem hates the readers who read
and say “this poem needs a title
it needs energy
because i live off energy
and i am too lazy
to ask the energizer bunny
to beat the drum in my ears
so i stay awake forever
so instead i will take it out on
this little poem with no title
this Untitled poem”

this poem is bowlegged
this poem is bent over
this poem is gaping
this poem is fingerlicking
this poem is shitfaced
this poem is bootylicious
this poem is fast for its age

this poem narrates itself and
when it speaks it decides that
first person is for fools
who think that perception means
they have a soul
this poem has a pulse
without meaning it

one night this poem went to a
poetry slam and it met eyes
with the drummer and
they connected on a
metaphorical level
and so they danced together
on stage in front of everybody
and the poem closed its eyes
grabbed the drummer’s shoulders
and rode him for an hour

then this poem made eye contact
with a girl with green eyes
and the poem wondered why
they were so violent and hungry
and so they went home together
and the poem made green tea
while the girl sat next to it
and they lay down
and the girl cried and cried and
stained and crumpled
the poem’s lining
and blurred out its title
when it wasn’t looking

this poem doesn’t like to talk
about its problems.

this poem doesn’t need a title.

this poem prefers to think
it gave its title away
to the crying girl so she
could go meet the drummer
and they could make music
that only they understood

this poem prefers to think
that it was strongly named
fearfully and wonderfully made
and that if words were gods
its magnitude outweighs any
one word that could capture it.

this poem prefers to be called
and it will kick your ass
if you say it is Untitled
or half-titled
or ridiculous
or jingoistic
or boring
or unmetered
or amateurish

this poem knows how to fight
this poem says yo’ mama
is half-titled
and says it fucked yo’ mama
so what now?

oooh, you’re scared of this
“Untitled” poem now,
aren’t you? it talks back.
it names names. it named
Yo’ Mama’s Name.
and you know that it knows
what power a name has behind it
because it doesn’t have one.

people categorize this poem
as improperly hostile
as anti-social
because it knows tradition
but it doesn’t give a fuck
about following it
and it can’t afford
to spend too much
on tradition right now
because last time
it had a decent opportunity
at a good life
with a good name
it got spotted and
the chance sped away

i’m tired of this poem
using me to speak
i don’t want to talk
about this poem’s life anymore
i don’t think it needs a name
it deserves one, sure
it would like something, yeah
but then it made me tell
its story and i don’t want to
i don’t want to name it
i’d rather let it determine itself


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