"Poems (Secrecy)"

Jeremy Colangelo

Jeremy Colangelo is an author and academic living in London, Ontario. His first book, a story collection called Beneath the Statue, was published in 2020. His works have appeared in such places as The Dalhousie Review, The Puritan, EVENT, and CAROUSEL. He currently teaches writing at King’s University College, at the University of Western Ontario.

“‘Poems (Secrecy)’ responds to various statements regarding why nobody reads or writes poems anymore, such as ‘The long, steady decline of literary reading’ (Christopher Ingraham, 2016).”

nobody reads poems because a poem is not read nor felt but born within the brain in trembling

nobody reads poems because to read is to eschew the crust of matter for ideas and no poem can survive ideas

nobody reads poems because a hundred years ago somebody wrote a poem and there was a fuss

nobody reads poems because there are no poems only verbs

nobody reads poems because someone read this poem and believed it

nobody reads poems because they fear the ghost of Sappho which dwells not only in love and death and writing and the lyre but in the concept of beauty itself and also its opposite

nobody reads poems because everyone is too busy learning the art of flute-making

nobody reads poems because the homunculus of consciousness that lives in their pineal gland would prefer they major in something more practical like business or the end of the world

nobody reads poems because have you seen how cute this dog is

nobody reads poems because ambivalence is the first virtue of secrecy the second virtue of knowledge and the third virtue of just chilling the heck out and like going with the flow man

nobody reads poems because they would prefer that meaning be obvious and without unjustified surplexis

nobody reads poems because ambiguity is reserved strictly for the rich

nobody reads poems because they were gathered last November in a dried-out mountain tarn in northern Scandinavia and incinerated to the last by obscure beings with an enormous magnifying glass and a flashlight

nobody reads poems because the poems were incinerated too

nobody reads poems because a poem is just a string of words deceived to wordlessness and fragmentation and poetically they dwell upon the page like snowflakes on a gust of air until the reading eye assembles them again to make an ordinariness like dreams