Loopy Rupi


This vapid young woman scrawled verse
to the joy of her publisher’s purse —
and the good of her own.
In her enterprise zone :
shallow waters. She fails to immerse.


This is not the only censure Kaur’s work has been subject to. Satirical tweets, which have racked up hundreds of likes, imply that Kaur’s work is formulaic, shallow, and lacks true poetic talent. Her readers, however, do not mount a defense based on the quality of Kaur’s language; rather, they cite her openness about personal trauma in response to critiques of her work, suggesting that such honesty, particularly from a woman of color, exempts her from accusations of superficiality.



A poetess/princess, Miss Kaur
Was promoted through publishing’s power.
Scrawling lines for a hobby,
This perky Punjabi
Turned rupees to dollars per hour.

Deal With This

Hello Kitty key-chain
caked in blood, hung on
one rusted nail
the silent shack
silvered wood-grain, locust-buzz . . .
Scattered petals blown by
the dented fan spinning
in the Mississippi sun
withering winter heat
hanging willows over the
bank. Cypresses silhouetted
on the darkening horizon
glacier’s silent witness
while sherpas come and go
seeking her remains
beseeching Buddha
. . . details, details

the little girl she had always been
motionless in the sand of the dry riverbed
the Bedouin poke her cold body
with their staffs
camels quizzically chew cud.
Housewives on Long Island
do their shopping . . .

What did she say
When they stole her lunchbox?
Why were Lunchables™ not enough?

Grief is a sandwich
tossed in a snowdrift,
in the summer of 1941:
Tibetan village of Yarlung Tsangpo;
Inevitability of sun.


PROMPT 18: write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail. This may not be a “fun” prompt, but loss is one of the most universal and human experiences, and some of the world’s most moving art is an effort to understand and deal with it.


This Just In: Poetry Fatally Flawed


Poets are liars not because, as Socrates said, they can fool us with the power of their imitations, but because identifying yourself as a poet implies you might overcome the bitter logic of the poetic principle, and you can’t. You can only compose poems that, when read with perfect contempt, clear a place for the genuine Poem that never appears

Seven Circumstances