Chelsey Minnis

Oh, I don't know who influenced this poem. But Edward Dorn's book Abhorrences gets me hyped up and makes me want to write some things… I like a poem titled "the hazards of an era: varations on a theme", which is a re-adjustment of William Carlos Williams' "This is Just to Say". The attitude is very cool-headed like: "I can understand your point of view, but I really must smash it apart." And that's how I feel when I read most poems—even poems I LIKE. I feel like I want to fight. Anyway, I like the poem because it's funny. Like ha-ha. And poems should be so funny…

Poetry is far too anachronized already for me to get excited about reverent back-looks. Although I readily admit I am nothing in poetry! If a poem pleases me like goooood…then I can like it. If it doesn't, then I don't have to be a gracious emissary of the past…do I? A friend of mine once told me that poems should last at least 100 years. And the William Carlos Williams poem was probably written to last that long. But it makes me fall into a stupor to think of what can last for 100 years. I don't want that! I want something that will last like 2 years.

Hopefully my poem is a damning critique of both these poems and of all poems. And by that I mean that I have nothing to say to any of them. I AM sensitive to the tradition of American poetry but I also feel like it is like pressing down on my head too much… I can't be sentimental about fruit such as peaches, plums or blackberries and I can't be critical of being sentimental about fruit such as peaches, plums, etc… I have to forget about all that…

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Preface #4

by Chelsey Minnis
I can only write poetry that is like a tuba covered with blood...

No asylums, crack-houses, jails, hitchiker's cars, ditches or body dumps for me!

If I find a piece of rope...I must use it to tie myself to the bedposts...

If I find the pretty pink horse pills etc.

This is not a mini-gun with which to shoot myself.

You can say many nasty things about poetry if you like...

But Chelsey understands what is expected of her!

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Poem © Copyright by Chelsey Minnis. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the author.





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