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We are Nobody

(A response to an editor of the NY Times. When asked why there was no poetry among the hundreds of books in the summer reading list: “Because nobody reads it”)

You, nobody, reading this poem
I feel badly you’re not there.
Occasionally I imagine you
Doing the dishes or watching porno,
A ghost with a joint or bottle in hand
A suicidal snob quoting Petronius.

All those books on your shelf are wanting
In the imagined rooms of the triggering town.
If you’re reading this poem, I pity you
You are practically six feet in the ground.

And yet you read on, expecting something,
Something to take your invisible wings
And make them flutter with the sound of words.
We can meet secretly at midnight,
Be lovers with soft groping tears.

From one nobody to another-
Now is the time for our
Illicit affair.

Last few words: 
I've been away for a bit. Nice to be back. My fellow nobodies.
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


As always your poems are unique in their style, content and a learning experience for someone like me who has a lot tto learn..


raj (sublime_ocean)

Hi, Emoulpus, nice to have you back. It's true, poetry is hardly ever a best seller. Most poets have always had to pay for publishing their own poetry. That's how Dickens made a living, from selling his own books. The great Russian novels were all paid for by the authors. And so it goes. We poets are nobodies. Is that a word? Not sure what you mean by "triggering town", except that it's a nice alliteration. It should be six feet under ground! I also think "groping" tears is inadequate. Soft is a tad over used, but maybe you can think up a different word. I'll try to think of one for you. All I say is to TorT, of course, Gracy

"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

is an essay by Richard Hugo, a famous poet in the US, about how a poet should "write what they know" from the "town" of their own imaginations. If you google it there's a whole a bunch of stuff like

But I was hoping too that you don't have to really know that to just enjoy the alliteration and suggestions of the words.
Good idea on "soft"...I must consider that!

Yea, that editor might have said "poetry does not sell enough copies" or such. But couldn't the Times have fit in just one or two poetry collections after cookbooks?

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

I wouldn't hold my breath on my own poetry, lol.

What a wonderful poem and it held me smiling right to the last words which were fabulous. I'm a fan

Thank you...Teddy

Hello, Eumolpus,
"Because nobody reads it" is a sad response. I read recently that reading and writing poetry has increased with the pandemic - people searching for new interests. I hope that continues. I like your approach, as if poetry is almost a secret form of communication within a secret club of nobodies.
Thank you!

said it better Lavender. I agree, that we are nobodies, but collectively, we are the somebodies that drive many different thoughts across many miles of page. Nice job Eumy. ~ Geez.

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