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"Still Life With Crumpled Paper" by Dennis Spicer

Where does bad poetry go
when it is cast out from the canon,
when it wanes, wadded at the wastebasket’s base
or is winnowed from the “worth saving” file?

Does it linger in the universal consciousness,
heavy with red roses and blue violets,
only to be born again through the spastic spurting heart
of some angst-filled, electric teen?

Does is ascend to some euphonious Eden,
to lie among single socks and silver forks
upon scented Roman couches,
being read eternally by long lush ladies with lyrical lips?

Or is it cast into perdition,
perpetually prod and trod over hot beds of critics
while black-veiled muses kneel nearby and keen,
denying parentage and flourishing invincible erasers?

Perhaps bad poetry’s fate is not so wildly flung;
not heaven or hell nor any sentience between.
Perhaps with gentle and persistent apathy it waits
to crawl once again inside my pen.

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