Following the exercise in a poetry book
I divided my page with a vertical line
labeled one column love and the other hate
and filled each list with my scribbled passions
My hate list is short, unrevealing:
I hate racists! I hate sexists! I hate bigots!
I hate drivers who don’t signal. I hate people
who talk loudly on cell phones in coffee shops.
The list of my loves, I’m more embarrassed to say,
casts in stunning relief my proletarian tastes.
Yes, it’s sprinkled with a few highbrow delights:
Cabernet, Faulkner, dark chocolate, Jean de Florette.
Yet, surrounding these, top and bottom of my list,
the first and best loves I spilled on the page:
Cold beer in cans, pizza, flirty waitresses, soixante neuf,
yes, even in French my loves appear puerile.
This is the list of a man with no business in poetry.
His thoughts are too small, his passions too coarse.
Where is the poetry in loving your wife, your kids,
bowls of beef chili, a plate of nachos, and a fat sack of weed?