Apologizing to Ferlinghetti by William Prindle

William Prindle has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2021 Poetry Contest

Photo of woman reading among shelves of bookstore
Photo by Maia Habegger on Unsplash
Apologizing to Ferlinghetti
You never took
                      the deal
the hand
            America dealt
what did         you have
to lose            anyway
father             and mother
           dead or
                                 gone mad
you spoke                 French first
            so why not    bat the English
words                       way out there
fungoes of the mind
screw the form         screw the State
just write
and how you wrote
wrote and sold                    sold like hell
turned on the Lights            published
Howl                screwed the Court
didn’t thank                  the Academy
          that did shit for you
just invited everyone
                                   to the party
            coffeehouse hipsters
                        the dharma dumpsters
                        full of books
the Academy kept      throwing out
your bookstore           rambled right
             past the millennium
giving my friend         Jan
time    to finally          get the guts
                                  walk up
to the counter            speak to
the slacker at the register
slip him a ten spot     for the book
she stole                    in 1970

William Prindle
William Prindle is a Charlottesville poet who is active in local poetry groups, has been published in journals and anthologies including Written River, What Rough Beast, and Tupelo Press‘s Thirty Days, and has won awards from the Poetry Society of Virginia. He has studied with Gregory Orr, Annie Kim, Sharon Olds, Robert Bly, David Whyte, and C.K. Williams. He lives in the woods near Charlottesville with his wife Rosalyn.

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