Wednesday, November 5, 2008

July 12, 2007 Front Page

July 12 2007: John Yamrus
John Yamrus has been a fixture in American poetry for four decades. Since 1970 he has published 2 novels, 16 volumes of poetry and more than 900 poems in magazines around the world. Selections of his poetry have been translated into several languages including Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Japanese and (most recently) Romanian.

featured poem

did i ever tell you

did i ever tell you

about the time
Linda said i was good,
but that i’d never be

Linda was a poet.

one of Bukowski’s
in the ‘70s.

for a while
she edited and published
a pretty decent little magazine.

she wrote to me saying
that she loved my poems...

actually, it’s been so long now
i really don’t remember
if she loved them
or liked them,
but it doesn’t matter...

she said that i was good,
but i would never be great...

because i wasn’t

Bukowski (she said) was mad...
and he was

i wrote back
saying that she was right...
Bukowski IS mad
and Bukowski IS great,
but if one of the qualifications
for being mad
and being great
was having to put up with the likes of her,
then i’d be more than happy
to settle for what i am
and what i’m
going to be.

that was 30 years ago,
and do you know what?

i’m still not mad
and i’m still not

but, every now and then,
when the moon’s just right
i’m not
half bad.

by John Yamrus

The Cartier Street Review

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