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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Discovered the Beauty of Louis Jenkin's Poetry!


I want to share a prose poem I discovered this Holy Week. It's essentially for young people in their 20s who are still looking for their place in this earth.

Well, it can also be for people like me who have found their little niches on this earth and still wonder, "Is this all there is?"

The poet is Louis Jenkins, an American, and I love his sense of humor and the way he uses it to put his point across.

This is a prose poem so it's not written the way we are used to but when you recite it aloud, you will notice the cadence and rhythm that we associate usually with poems.

This one is entitled, "Backcountry".

“When you are in town, wearing some kind of uniform is helpful,
policeman, priest, etc. Driving a tank is very impressive, or a car
with official lettering on the side. If that isn’t to your taste you
could join the revolution, wear an armband, carry a homemade flag tied to a broom handle, or a placard bearing an incendiary slogan.

At the very least you should wear a suit and carry a briefcase and a cell phone, or wear a team jacket and a baseball cap and carry a cell phone.

If you go into the woods, the backcountry, someplace past all human habitation, it is a good thing to wear orange and carry a gun, or, depending on the season, carry a fishing pole, or a camera with a big lens.

Otherwise it might appear that you have no idea what you are doing, that you are merely wandering the earth, no particular reason for being here, no particular place to go.”

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