for Walt Whitman
I can’t smell your belches
so I take them mediated
on the page as I find them.
In their song, I hear the bluster
of someone with no secrets,
strict manners or form
like a Facebook profile gone mad
with existence. I hear the voice
of multitudes, civilization’s self-love
running loud and demanding,
saying, ‘Look and awe at me,
at my enough-ness streaming out
like a mill-trodding flood of
You, at critical mass,
erect in book and in world,
scream intimacy unimaginable;
your cantos, a vision of a way to be.
I put you down and away walk
when, as in a relationship, it becomes
difficult to tell who is speaking.
Found poem from a discussion forum thread on “Song of Myself” in Coursera’s “Modern and Contemporary Poetry” class.