The Puppet on a Poem: Tales of Influence Anxiety

Influence anxiety, as he likes to say, exists not between the artists but between their poems endlessly bumping into each other in readers’ memories…
– Christopher Lyndon on Harold Bloom


Get out of here, will you? Dam you poems, leave me alone.
Poems, poems, poems. You’d think the world was a poem.
Everywhere I turn inside a poem pops up telling me I must.
Must what I say? Must say the poem, that’s what? Why should I?
Here I am just a poet in his solitude minding my own business,
and these poems begin to intervene and influence my existence;
now why the hell should such a thing be to me is just plain vicious,
and whoever thought up such a creed should be found insidious.
They say a falling star is just a poet’s mind going out, out, out;
and a
starburst is a poem that’s met its final end beyond all thought.
Maybe it’s this mechanical brain I got last Christmas? You suppose?
I know my mind’s been clinking loudly lately, and the screws are loose.
That’s the trouble with the market, even mechanical brains don’t last.
Nothing’s made to last. Well, that I can understand. Nothing is not.
When you think about it I’m no thing at all, I’m just a mechanical brain
talking about influencing the poems that keep chunking and scrunching
around in my head like so many marbles spinning and rotating in unison.
Alas I finally rid myself of poetry today. No more influence or rotary
of swirling little poems wandering the cosmos of my mechanical world.
But now I wonder what it is I was thinking. Really I can’t seem to think,
and my memory has gone south, and I just don’t seem to know
or even say or do or what is this I’m about just now with you…

…………………………..Oh, now I remember, I’m a Virus in your brain,
a poem that is eating you alive in influence and soon you, too, will join
the lovely little world of fools I’ve invented out of such things as poems.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

3 thoughts on “The Puppet on a Poem: Tales of Influence Anxiety

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