Poem #16: To Rage; Prompt #2: Koch’s Address

To Rage

I found you inside me and tried to kick you out, but each time we fought you brought an accomplice: cars, bigotry, eyeliner, the body of Christ, and heat that would not let me be.

You are too pure to fake.

You ripped a taco from my hand. How could you? That was my lunch. Can’t we talk this out?

Where are you going? I can’t defend myself without you.

Is this a holy lesson, rage?

You can’t trick me into sex, I’m on to you.

Get a goddamned rebound, man.

Don’t crowd me, please – I live here. This is my home and I won’t sleep with earplugs in.

How did that whole “dying of the light” thing work out?

Rage – you rhyme with cage. Did you plan that?

I can’t help laughing at you, I’m sorry.

How can I be a polar bear now?

Your arms are too short to slap-box with God.

I wish I understood you better. Maybe we can work this out.

@NBF 4.29.2009


Venice Beach, 2008



This poem’s form is inspired by Kenneth Koch and his collection New Addresses, in which he addresses, directly, many subjects that don’t often get the second-person treatment. I’m going to call this form “Koch’s Address” and invite people to give it a shot.

Allen Ginsberg’s address to America from Howl is phenomenal, especially layered onto Tom Waits’ “Closing Time”:

Allen Ginsberg – “America (Closing Time)”


One Response to “Poem #16: To Rage; Prompt #2: Koch’s Address”

  1. […] “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” (“Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” alluded to here) and Theodore Roethke’s “The Waking” (“I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. / I learn […]

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