you are immature and I am highly evolved

you should read more Judith Wright and stop writing about yourself

"I" and "we" should not be used as poems are illuminations not spotlights

young poet smokes for photos / old poet smokes

young poet describes candle flame to get laid / old poet captures moth

young poets will never become old poets

old poets don't die they just get more grants

old poet tells young poet to let their words do the talking

old poet tells young poet that the page is where words dance

old poet tells young poet to forget about the moon

old poets never use the moon as metaphor / for them the moon has done enough

young poets throw lavish launches / old poets decline invitations

young poet wants to be old poet / old poet wants to be

young poet drinks beer and chases skirt because that's what poets do

young poet builds altar / old poet pays rent

young poet makes declarations of intent / old poet lights cigarette

young poet name checks Bukowski & Rimbaud / old poet reads them

old poets never wear make-up / their masks are harder to remove

old poets are the wolves' lair / young poets come to the cave as calves do

backstage the young poet bites nails

backstage the old poet sharpens its teeth

young poet flirts with virgins / old poet fucks violinist

young poet wants to sell books / old poet buys bread and red wine

young poet dreams / old poet is happy to sleep at night

old poets never dreamed they would become old poets

young poets tell anyone they are the revolution

old poets know the revolution doesn't need to talk / but then

old poets never listen / young poets listen too much


 you maybe tomorrow young poet but we are yesterday

and yesterday will buy us more time


time is on the side of the young poet

old poet knows time has no sides / tells young poet


death is the last line


Note: First Published in Idiom 23, 2009