How to Murder a Poem by Bonnie Carasso


                                     “Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from the Eternal.”

~Dante Alighieri

At the eerie crack of midnight—

which three out of four MFA candidates agree is the most poetical hour,

save that luminescent trice of old, betwixt twilight and the gloaming—


snatch a torch from the damp stone wall and reach

for the ring of rusted keys that unlock the mystical,

Golden Door in the floor you must explore—


For pity sake, don’t just take them off the hook!


Strive, struggle, scrape for the metaphorical keys with your literal fingers,

long and tapered as the translucent candles you must ignite

when the inconsequential torch is snuffed—


by multiple compound adjectives, hailing down

synonymously from a thick, wordy, prolix thesaurus

upon the flaxen head of your fragile idea,


forsaken in the effulgent dawn—

                                                                               insists ironic sideburns guy who was late again to class—


and splattered into gelatinous goo, like the top three similes

your poetry workshop can come up with, before it scatters

for an e-smoke and another inspirational quaff of Red Bull.