It started with Kerouac.
The clean cut of his jackknife name.
It turned into a game, between my poets
and I. Caught their syllables on my tongue,
swung their consonants behind my teeth.
Bequeathed my heart to Shakespeare – the William,
not the Macbeth.
Then the affair with Whitman,
wore Walt on the hem of my breath.
Blake was an earthquake
Byron – saline and dark,
smiling all the while
like a moon-grey basking shark.
And yet, I’ll always savour, the flavour of
Wilde and his purple art,
long after I’ve sampled the Frost, Neruda and Hart.
The ache of Yeats and keening Keats
swallowed my sand-blistered throat, and
with blustering, belting, wide abandon,
Brontë drowned my boat. I’d flirted with Ezra,
the acid he scorched in my palate
and swirled like a brush
in jade-green Emerson’s palette,
torched by the words, their e. e. cummings words
Drunk, thrumming, on the wine of each name
Now, humming, with the taste of their fame.
For those that are feasting on words