Home > Poetry > The Poet as Rodney Dangerfield

The Poet as Rodney Dangerfield

The Poet as Rodney Dangerfield

Poems don’t put food in the Pantry.
And Rhymes don’t pay the bills.
So sometimes I have to go to Work
Or suffer greater ills.

I hear if you live in Germany
And sometimes even France.
They pay you to be an Artist
But in America, Fat Chance!

I heard that in Romania
Behind the Iron Curtain.
Artists did not starve to Death.
Of that you can be certain.

But you had to get approval
You couldn’t even joke.
And you had to write Propaganda,
So I would rather be broke.

But over here in America
You have to get a job.
So I work at night in a convenience store
And hope I don’t get robbed.

Most of the time, there’s time to muse
Except on Thursday night.
That when the liquor truck comes ‘round
So you get no chance to write.

So you run the dolly back and forth.
It’s “Tote dat Barge! Lift dat bale!”
“If you don’t fill the coolers
You can’t make a sale.”

So I guess its true in America
That Poets get no Respect.
We’re just like Rodney Dangerfield
What more can you expect?

As a life long Poet, I can assure you there is not much money it it.  But, if you really are a Poet, like I am, then you do not have a choice.  Every sound that you hear from the hum-drum noise of a truck engine, to that screeechy sound your brakes make when you didn’t get them fixed because  your window wouldn’t roll up and you had to fix that first because you were getting soaking wet every time it rained. . . these are the sounds and rhythms you can’t get out of your mind.  Then you try to fit words to the sounds. There is nothing worse than staying up all night and struggling over words, and then when you have written what you think is a good poem, other people just laugh at it and call you bad names.  Just like Rodney Dangerfield, Poets just don’t “get no Respect.”  So, I have learned to embrace the rejection. That which does not kill you, makes you stronger. But, it still kind of hurts.

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Categories: Poetry Tags: , ,
  1. March 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Everybody is entitled to their opinion. I could have stopped you from putting this on my website but criticism is important to poets.

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