W. Isaiah Garnett: I’ve Been Called a Poet Twice

“I’ve been called a poet


I winced both times.

I’m not.

I’m not as clever as Arnold.

Nor as ambiguous as Shelley.

I’d rather talk through

than around. 

I’ve been called a poet


I entered two contest

in one semester

and lost twice because

I didn’t hold true to


but neither did they.

I’ve been called a poet twice.

But there is no mystery here,

no metaphors, no pretty words

and that’s not poetic. 

But I’ve been called a poet twice.

I’d rather be called honest.

Which counts for nothing poetically if not hidden.

I guess that’s not how poetry works.

Accepted poetry that is.

Regarded poetry.

Award winning poetry. 

Sorry Brother Langston.

Sorry Mother Angelou.

I was called a poet twice,

but I never gave a shit about how it was supposed to be done. 

I just went with how it made me feel

hoping they would feel the same or ask themselves why they didn’t?

I’ve been called a poet twice.