Andrei Codrescu

A Geography of Poets

is all wrong, ed

what poets now live
where they say they do
where they started out
where they want to

half the midwesterners
did time in new york
the other half in california

only new yorkers write
as if they are from new york
and mostly they are not

the ones in california
were wounded elsewhere
when they feel better
or can't afford the rent
they'll go back where
they came from

this is america
you get hurt where you are born
you make poetry out of it
as far from home as you can get
you die somewhere in between

the only geography of poets
is greyhound
general motors rules them all
ubi patria ibi bene
or ibi bene ubi patria
bread out of nostalgia
not a lot of it either
some of us came from very far
maps don't help much
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