! Zeke Snirer, Poetry Critic Poem by Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

Marton, Lancashire

! Zeke Snirer, Poetry Critic

Rating: 2.6

Zeke Snirer.
he’s young. ish.
he’s got something to offer the world:
he’s the best judge of poetry. ever.
this is his sincere opinion.
so he’s obliged to tell you. often.
in case you missed it.

he’ll take on any other poet.
invited or not.
especially celebrated ones.
he’ll even interrupt their own poetry readings
tell them how bad they are
and offer to read his own poems
to prove to the audience
what poetry should be.

he’ll grade Shakespeare’s sonnets
and tell you the very few
which are nearly as good as his own -
perhaps, just perhaps, better in some ways
though of course not in others
if he were interested,
he would grade you Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Christ, Mohammed,
and himself,
if he got into that line of business.

he’s a great spectator sport –
you can read him now on the internet –
if you like that sort of thing
and if you’re not one of his punchbags

for he’s like a boxer who announces a title fight
(to which he’s not entitled)
against a heavyweight opponent
(whom he hasn’t actually invited) :
then in the ring, it’s him
and a punchbag with his opponent’s name on it,
he hits it for a round or two,
claims a knock-out,
awards himself the title.
and afterwards says the other guy’s a coward
for not being there in person..

Bur does his abrasive whizz-kid act
aid poetry itself? does it shatter
the undeserved reputation,
the accepted status of the famed,
the thoughtless infill of the poetry
that sounds like poetry, but is no more than that?
a fresh breeze blowing through
the stale and dusty air of the pedant’s library
in the Creative Writing staffroom of the University of Academe?

or would a poet who believed completely in himself
be content just to offer us his finest poetry,
and let us recognise it for ourselves;
and put aside this damning of all others?
even if he tells us quietly (as Shnirer does)
that ‘we’ will be reading him above all else
in five hundred years of poetry?

I wonder – deep inside this combative assailant,
Defender of the Faith and of the Muse,
is he so devoted to poetry
that he just can’t bear
anything to be written that falls short
of what he thinks is worthy of the Muse?

or does he really hate poetry
for allowing others to partake of it?

whichever it is, he’s not in doubt
that he’d be the best judge of that, and
you better believe it.


Michael Shepherd

Marton, Lancashire
Error Success