Unnecessary Surgery (1987)
The poem lies quivering on the table.
It would flee if it was able.
Circling shadows hover overhead.
The poet watches with growing dread.
Their knives sink in; cutting deep
Using no form of artificial sleep.
The tortured words will give up their rhyme
And forms and meanings, given time.
Higher, higher the pile grows
As each gets in with their own blows.
Adding more terms and revelations.
Continuing multiple interpretations.
At last, at last the butchery stops.
The surgeons smile; take off their smocks.
“The patterns are there,” the analysts say.
As they throw the lifeless husk away.