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roberto bolano

for R.B.

I

The poet has boarded up his lonely streets.
Do not seek him there

where ink dilutes on flapping sheets.
The poet has boarded up his lonely streets,

learned all he could from lazy cheats,
his knuckles chafed, cold schemes laid bare.

The poet has boarded up his lonely streets;
do not seek him there.

II

They whisper him in the Academy
where Góngora was once reviled.

On silver trays, the fear of poverty
is served on ice to huddles of society.

Meanwhile, his poetry, cross-referenced, A to Z,
feeds the unemployed, the homeless child.

They whisper him in the Academy
where Góngora was once reviled.

III

A fresher word for victory is enough,
the poet laughs, of blood and pointless grief.

The artist unafraid to call his bluff
will find the world is built of finer stuff.

Inspiration is best eaten off the cuff—
a squeeze of rhyme, a lick of sweet relief.

A fresher word for victory is enough,
the poet laughs, of blood and pointless grief.

~~~

The triolet is an 8-line fixed verse form that was popular in the courts of medieval France. The image of Roberto Bolaño comes from http://www.fanpix.famouspix.com.

© Elaine Stirling, 2015

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