I saw the best poets of a lifetime
cruelly crushed
in one vast envelope of rejection.

There was Matthew,
who could spit out poems;
spit them out as if
nobody could stop him chanting;
and there was Mark,
who developed a new mode
of global punk literature
without even sharpening his pencil;
then there was Luke,
who, through reading
the entire history of poetry
in one brief evening,
inculcated a brand new
Joycean mode of thinking;
and, of course, there was John,
who, after an afternoon nap,
reconstituted Xanadu
Into an ever-expanding literary picture.

I saw all the real poets destroyed;
saw them send verse away
just to be turned away themselves,
saw them try and try again
to prove the romance wasn't over;
saw them try, only to see
their creative synergies killed
And left on dusty doormats
over and over again.

By God! they were real apostles;
more real than any poet
before or since-
they were geniuses, I tell you,
geniuses who never knew quite how
nepotistic and infantile the literati had become;
ingenious living, breathing men,
who, with vision in their veins
and futurescapes for minds,
could only fall foul
of the pop-art editors;
the scum-n-sucre madmen
who, born out of sobriety,
are testimony
to a dark and artless world;
testimony to the post-Dylan, post-wonder, post-creative

They were our futures, I tell you;
our one and only optimistic legacy;
the men who, if only discovered,
would have spun the world
into an ever-rolling renaissance;
apostles of a greater God
than ever graced existence;
apostles with guts, spunk, stamina,
grace, wisdom, even noble blood;
men born to take the earth
and meld it with the heavens
through the use of words
and the use of words alone;
men who, because they were bards,
could only face destruction
at the hands of life's monsters;
those monsters, with lifeless, endlessly prosaic verses,
who had possessed and beaten the poet's cause
into nothing but a self-possessed waste of ink and paper.

I knew them, damn it,
I knew the true followers of the written word;
knew Matthew, Mark, Luke and John;
knew the spirit beings within;
Knew the kiss, the kin, the kith
of the first resurrection of Poesy
from the base metals of the heart.

I saw them all destroyed.
I saw them all rejected.
I saw my own love for living
being crushed into an upturned box
and left to rot away.

I saw all of them die.
I saw all of them fade away.

I saw the best poets of a generation
driven into the sea.

Copyright JDB 1993