This is a poem I wrote years ago that may have some relevance to the previous entry (which provided a link to Michael Paul's "if only academic poets could have the upper hand in the slam poetry field" screed). It can also be found in the e-chapbook NOTHING HELD BACK (referred to in a recent entry).
HOW TO RESPOND TO THE MAN IN BLACK
One day, a man dressed in black
rode into town and introduced himself
as the Savior of Poetry.
“Reject low culture!” he cried.
“Your dismal poetry all sounds the same to me!
All poems should display exposure to high culture.
All poems should bear the mark of an MFA degree.
All poems should be thoroughly workshopped
and rewritten dozens of times until they are
scrubbed clean of any stains of amateurism!!!"
"To hell with Slam Poetry!
To hell with personal rants!
To hell with teenage angst!
To hell with childhood memoirs!
To hell with office poetry!
To hell with free verse!"
"Long live sestinas!
Long live clerihews!
Long live triolets!”
No response from the townspeople.
The man in black then pulled out a bullwhip
and began lashing out at everyone around him,
saying that stupidity should be punished.
“Americans are dumb-and proud of it!” he said with a sneer.
I stepped up to the man in black and
took the bullwhip from his hand.
Before he could respond, I told him
that good poetry can be found in all forms-
whether free verse, rhyme-and-meter or slam.
I recommended that he climb on his high horse
and ride out of town immediately.
The man in black, to my surprise,
obeyed my request.
As he rode towards the sunset,
the townspeople could hear him mutter to himself
about collage being a lazy form of poetic art.
and the freedom to write it
in any way possible-
At least until the next man in black rides into town.