Giving Poetry Readings by Donna Brook

1.
I don’t want to say, “This is called . . .”
when I’m the one who called it this.

2.
I don’t want to explain a poem to people.
I want them to explain it to me.

3-
I don’t want to pull rabbits out of top hats.
But I’d love to hold a rabbit by its silky ears
and pull a hat out of its bottom,
popping the hat open as if I were Fred Astaire
without getting rabbit shit on anyone.

4.
And this little number
which I extracted from the asshole
of a timid but multiplying woodland creature
is from the heart, dedicated to you
and yours,
and theirs.

5.
I don’t want to commit egotism under the guise of art.
How about art under duress
and over the top;
how about that
and then this
and then what you’ve always wanted
in the way of magical and communal and possessed?

From: Brook, Donna, “Giving Poetry Readings.” Ploughshares, vol. 26, no. 4, 2000, p. 42.
(JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40352845)

Date: 2000

By: Donna Brook (1944- )

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