Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Monday, January 26, 2009

Poetic License: Time to Renew?













For the first time ever, I renewed my driver's license online. I kind of missed going to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office, which is always located in an obscure strip-mall, it seems, and taking a number, and sitting there for a long time, and then going up to the counter to talk with a person who has been interacting with too many people for too long concerning the same topic. Ah, well: another one of life's small pleasures, gone. Anyway, this license-renewal business got me thinking about whether one needs to renew his or her poetic license.



Poetic-License Renewal




He received a notice telling him his
poetic license had expired. He wanted to
go down (not up, it's never up) to
the Department of Poetry to renew
the license, but he was afraid.


His eyesight was probably worse,
he reckoned. Would they test him
on imagery? Also, he knew he'd
get nervous talking to the muse
behind the counter, the one who
asks questions like "If you're turning
into oncoming poetry, should you use
a simile or a hand-signal?"


Plus he hated when they took his
picture for the license because the
photo looked exactly like him. Still he knew
he had to renew. He was afraid to write
poetry without a license. What if he
got caught? They might tow away
his notebook or make him do community
service, such as writing press-releases
for actors who are on the decline.



Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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