Exclamation!

Poetry
Carl Leggo


Faculty Senate Meeting
Photo Credit: Michael Oh

what is the point?

what is the point
in exclamation?

what is the exclamation
in the point?

are we afraid
of the exclamation point?

afraid of the point in the heart
or learning there is no point?

 

like we are afraid of clichés of the heart
afraid of the heart?
prefer the illusion of sangfroid
where cold blood pumps slowly

I am dying
in meetings

we meet to
discuss the budget
review the department
review the faculty
review the department chair
review the faculty dean
& one another

we spend so much time reviewing
we are always looking backwards
with necks like pretzels

we meet to plan
programs and policies
procedures and processes
productivity and promotion

the academy is a speed dating service
where there is no romance, no seduction,
just reduction and a stupefying trance

we need textual intercourse full of pleasure,
instead of this coitus interruptus that leaves us
desiccated, depleted, dry like a dean’s dirge
about branding, and random, never randy,
encounters with potential wealthy benefactors

we need to claim more, declaim more
exclaim more, proclaim more

we need to reclaim
the bold voices of poetry

our poetry needs to startle
our poetry needs to howl

pencil

Carl Leggo is a poet and professor at the University of British Columbia. His books include: Come-By-Chance; Lifewriting as Literary Métissage and an Ethos for Our Times (co-authored with Erika Hasebe-Ludt and Cynthia Chambers); Being with A/r/tography (co-edited with Stephanie Springgay, Rita L. Irwin, and Peter Gouzouasis); Creative Expression, Creative Education (co-edited with Robert Kelly); and Poetic Inquiry: Vibrant Voices in the Social Sciences (co-edited with Monica Prendergast and Pauline Sameshima). Email: carl.leggo[at]ubc.ca

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