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A Short Series Addressed to Whatever is Most Authentic

Craig Morgan Teicher


This poem
is not addressed
                    to your ghost.


All I want
is to be so earnest
                        that my voice shines
                        like a coin
                        thrown into a fountain
                        in the sunlight.

I want, for once, to be brave enough
to tell my wish.


This is one
in a long series
                       of missives
                       to anyone.

I never use the word "missive."
I've never used it before
                               because it seems
                               like a fancy way of saying
                               something that could be said
                               another, simpler, way.

I want to be heard in that simpler way.


Walt Whitman,
this poem
             is not addressed
to your ghost.


Nor to the immortal
ghosts of your poems

is this poem addressed.


We've gone beyond
post-modern practice
into an age
               when television
and poetry share
an audience, as does
and everything else

which is good
                  and scary:

it's hard now
to erect a private space
in the mind
                —in my mind—

yet, even with all the company
—the Internet, books, TV, lots
                                        of friends—
there is still no cure
for lonely,

which is, after all, what
makes us human:
                      no matter what

and how much we make,
there is still only

one person in attendance,

one person sitting
before the big screen,

only one of us fumbling
about in the dark

hoping the popcorn is real.


This poem is not addressed
to Theodore Roethke,

and why should it be?


Now this poem is really


If I were truly contemporary,
I would have stopped there,

or there, with the word "there."

Craig Morgan Teicher

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