VILLANELLE

Bouncing along like a punch-drunk bell,
its Provençal shoes too tight for English feet,
the villanelle is a form from hell.

Balletic as a tapir, strong as a gazelle,
strict rhyme and formal meter keep a beat
as tiresome as a punch-drunk bell-

hop talking hip hop at the IHOP—no substitutions
on menu items, no fries with the chimichanga,
no extra syrup—what the hell

was that? Where did my rhyme go—uh, compel—
almost missed it again, damn, can you feel the heat
coming off this sucker? Red hot! Ding! (Sound of a bell.)

Hey, do I look like a bellhop to you, like an el-
evator operator, like a trained monkey or a parakeet
singing in my cage? Get the hell

out of the Poetry Hotel!
defeat mesquite tis mete repeat
Bouncing along like a punch-drunk bell,
the villanelle is a form from—Write it!—hell.

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