To Be Published

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To Be Published

I could become inscrutable,
I suppose…
Disclose despair
By ripping off 
The clothes of grammar
I have warmly worn
Since I could dress myself.

A fugitive in Philistines’
I could let the spittle
Punctuate my unkempt beard,
’Til readers feel
They’re not alone
As long they may have feared.

But what’s the point
In publishing
Some other poets’ lives?
Better just to be
My properly appointed,
Boring self,
A prude in others’ eyes.

— Brad Hepp, 12/29/2023


I force myself to read poems that I don’t understand. It seems I’d need a decoding key to cipher why poets sometimes mangle grammar, and why they choose really odd line breaks.

I read these poems and don’t understand them at all, despite having been an English major, and despite having done almost seven years of graduate work after college. The poems make me feel stupid, and inadequate.

Maybe I should stop worrying about it, and concentrate on what God means for ME to do!

What I’m grumbling about here is my sense that poetry seems to be honored in some circles only insofar as it obfuscates or even DENIES meaning. If you read the following short article about “Postmodernism Poetry,” you’ll recognize what bothers me. You may also be comforted—as I am—that it’s not that *WE* aren’t smart enough to understand those bizarre so-called poems, but that the POETS have abandoned reason. They really don’t think there’s anything TO be understood.…/postmodernism

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