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,
It came with a warning against rhyme
And other unnatural acts,
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.