The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

From the Original Soapbox Papers.....

When I am invited to conduct a workshop, I often choose to talk about profanity in poetry. I believe profanity is trite, uncreative, and has no place in a poem. That is my rule. But as with all rules, there is an exception. My exception to this rule is a poem called Dogshit - a piece which has gotten me in a bit of trouble at Beaux Arts Coffehouse and Gallery (more about which at another time) where the hoary haired old owner brings me to task over my choice of title and topic. But the more I go over the piece, the more certain I am that the word dogshit is precisely the right word. The poem doesn't work substituting poop, caca, doo-doo or feces -- and, in fact, the poem DOES work. In the years since I have written it, I have had several acquaintances ask me if the poem wasn't about him/her...to which I smile my Mona Lisa smile...

Here, then, is a poem simply titled, Dogshit.



Dogshit

Consider dogshit:
its scent, its texture.
You know where it came from,
you know what it is made of
so you handle it
even dispose of it
with the respect its qualities demand

yet you know me:
my scent, my texture.
You know where I came from,
you know what I'm made of
yet you handle me
even dispose of me
with less respect
than you give to dog droppings

but I
shall embed myself
into the soles of your runaway shoes
and one night you will
awaken from a soft dark sleep
and my scent
will be in the air.

from The Soapbox Papers, (c)1996 Smokey Combs
all rights reserved

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