The Very Short Poem


By John L. Malone

I’ve got a poem for you, a very short one, he promised with a garrulous grin, and then, in a long-winded introduction in which all the masters of brevity were cited from Basho to Lydia Davis, he proceeded to demolish all notions of shortness. The poem took ten seconds, the intro five minutes.

John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

15 thoughts on “The Very Short Poem

  1. I love this! I’ve lived it! Best argument I ever heard for guns on the street……Aaaaaaaaargh! Long introductions…and then they read something bears no resemblance….they read something that isn’t what they said it was, and you realise they haven’t got a clue what they’ve written…(mind you, when I did my M Litt a tutor told me exactly that about a poem of mine…and he used the ‘f’ word!) BHD

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Seen it all too often. Time-limited open mic events abound. Everyone gets, say, 7 minutes & half of them take that long just introducing themselves, addressing their theory of poetry, and providing preamble for their nine-and-a half-minute opus.

    And the prosers aren’t much better, deluding themselves (and attempting to delude you) that they can squeeze in the 1st three chapters of their forthcoming blockbuster novel…

    My hat’s off for your (succinct) work here!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Loved this. I’ve heard a lot many of those during retirement celebrations in my dad’s organisation. “I am not much of a speaker, but I’ve written a couple of lines of poetry about Mr X…” And then they go on for half an hour. I’ve slept through most of those and played tic-tac-toe with my bro through the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

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