Mere Looking
(After reading Wallace Stevens' poem "Of Mere Being")

Wallace Stevens, an attorney,
Switched careers and sold insurance
For a living.

Then upon a poet’s journey
He embarked, with no assurance
That forgiving

Readers would approve enough.
With feathers fangled and dangled,
His bird in a palm

At the edge of space; golden fluff;
In nothing like reason tangled,
Sings an offbeat psalm.

Thus, "modern," which word suffices
To redefine for poetry
What will "free" it.

Whatever its aural vices,
We know it, like obscenity,
When we see it.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2009