(he was no Expressionist, no Degenerate,
no Art-Bolshevik), so most of us poets
are thought no threat by those in authority—
Halfhass, for instance, his books won't get banned:
his Rilkemanqué wins awards, his "spiritual
progress" and "earned words" (—to paraphrase Wilde,
his genius gives good guru Po-Biz style while
his talent brooks those so serious ergo poems)—
what might please our fuehrers even more is
his patriot's part in The American Poetry Series.
Better silence than that? Better to hide, to write
for one's cabinet? (To paraphrase Benn,
the aristocratic form of publication.)
[Poet's] Note: This poem was deleted from my collected comic poems by the publisher, BOA, whose chief fund-raiser at the time was Robert Hass. . . .
I've often wondered if the BOA editors censored this poem on their own
initiative, or whether they were ordered to do so by Hass.
Admin note: I have "propagated" this poem as per Bill Knott's statement to readers:
"ALL MY POETRY, EVERY POEM I'VE WRITTEN SINCE 1960, IS POSTED [ON MY SITE] FOR OPEN ACCESS, PERUSAL AND PROPAGATION: YOU HAVE MY THANKS TO PLEASE COPY/DISTRIBUTE WHATEVER YOU LIKE."
Poem copyright Bill Knott, August 2007