Dedicated to far too many of my contemporaries, and they know who the hell they are. I. I am the perfect poet— I strike a dainty pose. I sniff the air for floral scent And elevate my nose. I’m not a coarse and graceless type Who spouts obscene derision. Instead I generate a cloud Of pure Platonic vision. II. I hunger for the precious, For sweetness and for light. Harmony and peace and love Are present when I write. Emotion is the air I breathe— I’m caught up in its fever. My arms swing in inclusive arcs Like some bel canto diva. III. My scope is truly global; My art embraces all. I’m open-minded, liberal, and I’m multicultur-al. I’ll never write offensively Or touch on taboo’d topics, Like stuff you read in Rochester Or Henry Miller’s Tropics. IV. I frequent all the workshops. I share my early drafts. I network with like-minded friends And suck up to the staff. I go to every conference To venerate my betters, And thereby gain a foothold in The inbred world of letters. V. I’m also vaguely leftist— That’s how you have to be If you’re to be accepted in Polite society. And this accounts for my success With all the folks who matter: My letter-perfect expertise In brainless, po-biz chatter. Joseph S. Salemi has published five books of poetry, and his poems, translations and scholarly articles have appeared in over one hundred publications world-wide. He is the editor of the literary magazine Trinacria. He teaches in the Department of Humanities at New York University and in the Department of Classical Languages at Hunter College.