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Page 255

Only two pages left – unless I fill up the inside back cover...
Or start another book ("Volume II" – a second I)...or I could
spend years revising all this. No, no and no. This formlessness
has rules I make up as I go alone – I mean along. (One
MEANS along, since meaning relies on agreement. One GOES
alone – usually locking the bathroom door. [Sorry, I'm trivializing
again.]) When you finish reading page 256 of this book
and close it (I know, it won't be easy), you will be alone again.
But when were you NOT alone? After all, how many readers
will finish this book? Out of the days of yesteryear,
with a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi Yo Silver, Awaaaay!"
["Get ‘um up, Scout"], you'll leave these pages muttering
to one another, "Who WAS that masked man, anyway?"
"You fool, don't you recognize the LONE READER!"

After all, this is recondite stuff, even for poetry. Poetry
seldom sees readers. Poems are like girls raised strictly,
never allowed to talk to boys, not sure what they are.
When my poems see a reader, they are in awe – the strangeness
of those eyes! Will he finger each line, while moving his lips,
as rumor has it? Will it tickle? They want to hide in the pantry.
They want to get gussied up in adjectives and fine conceits.
They wonder what it would be like to dance, to know how to dance.
They wonder, what is a reader like if he takes off all his
starchy attitudes and expectations – they blush at the thought,
but it won't go away.

Yes, Dear Reader, you are exotic here, dangerous, forbidden
among these chaste thoughts. Be gentle; don't even look at me
directly, no, don't say anything (feel my fingers on your lips?),
because how could I know how to answer; better just leave...NO!
Take me with you! Love me! Ravish me! Tear off my covers!...
Oh, I didn't say that, I didn't say that, please leave. (Don't listen
to me!)

I'm sorry, it's just that we poems are so seldom visited
by readers. In fact, you're the very first reader I've ever met.
You seem nice. I don't know why Mom (a noted
critic and reviewer) warned me about you. She said you were
crass, stupid, that all readers want one thing and one thing
only (tee hee!) from a poem. You don't seem that way...wait!
What are you doing?! Stop! O God, you're touching! You're
making me your own!

[Don't believe a word of it. All poems are whores. They've
seen everything. They just say what they think will make
a reader feel good. The only virgin pages are blank.
You wanna hear this page fake an orgasm?....]

Notes: I hope among my readers are a few who recall "The Lone Ranger" and his horse, Silver, whom he always hiyo'd, while his trusty companion, Tonto, told his horse to "get'um up, Scout!" And at the end of each radio or TV episode, some idiot would ask "Who was that masked man, anyway?" and be told "Why he's the LONE RANGER!"

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