On Renewing My Poetic License

I hated ruining such a sunny day

but I had to go downtown

to get my poetic license renewed.

I also needed to pick up a batch

of fresh images, so I decided 

to kill two birds with one stone.

See?  I told you my image cupboard was bare.

At any rate, I took the train 

for poetic inspiration

And left my Muse at home,

she fearing the presence of  bureaucracy

even more than a graduate of a poetry workshop.

I arrived at the licensing office, and

midst the hordes of unwashed poets,

took a number and waited my turn.

After filling out forms

in dactylic meter 

and coupled rhyme

I was told if I relied on a Muse

I had to complete 

Form 376/56A, Personification, and use anaphora.

Having no idea what anaphora was,

the licensing judge tsked,

and I was sent to another line.

There, I met a bearded poet 

who assured me I was on the right line

for blank and free verse.

The free verse license cost twenty five dollars,

irony included.

It came with a warning against rhyme 

And other unnatural acts,

like onomatopoeia

and adding “s” to make haiku plural.

I swore an oath to the gods of poetry

and was sent home,

my poetic license duct taped to my assonance.


Wayne Scheer has been nominated for five Pushcart Prizes and two Best of the Net. He’s published numerous stories, poems and essays in print and online, including Revealing Moments, https://issuu.com/pearnoir/docs/revealing_moments a collection of flash stories. His short story, “Zen and the Art of House Painting” has been made into a short film.  https://vimeo.com/18491827

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