© 2008 Rebecca Foust
They grow, get
rowdy, take on
lives of their own,
so you send
them off make
in the world, earn
Then you wait,
and wait and wait
for the news;
Will there be a
A cure for cancer
the Swine Flu?
Grad student editor
not much older
(but much, much
deigns to respond,
No thank you,
in a letter
The relationship between poetry and pastry
is sadly quite inverse.
Do one well, the other suffers. An hour
for the villanelle subverts
the flaky crust, but still I keep my hands
in both; I give thanks
for publication that’s been broad and deep
in family praise, and that
for extracting smiles from kids half dead
I’ve earned my Pulitzer in pies.
It randomly generates end-rhyme
and regular meter, plans for each stress,
gives infinite choices for first and third lines.
A real workhorse muse, it draws tandem lines,
searching each website and database;
it eats text and excretes it as end-rhyme,
slant, near or true. In a few seconds’ time
tercets are teeming. It breeds words like a virus,
spawns infinite choices for first and third lines.
Poetic pirouettes whirl en pointe on a dime
with no mental strain; nuanced phrase after phrase.
While it effortlessly generates end-rhyme.
Quality will rise, as in a short time
programs imprint preferences, continually revise
available choices for first and third lines
and sieve out the drek. Hack poets will wane,
will wander disconsolate the Boolean maze
of the randomly generated end-rhymes.
Here fire derived from an algorithm burns
and warms the icicle heart even of Isosceles
who reads the roulette-wheel spun end-rhymes,
and triages choices for first and third lines.
Rebecca Foust won the 2007 and 2008 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prizes and was a finalist for Poetry’s 2007 Emily Dickinson Award. Nominated for two 2008 Pushcart Prizes, Foust’s recent poetry appers or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Nimrod, North American Review, Spoon River, Women’s Review of Books and elsewhere.