“General Forester, once I wrote a poem I’m reminded of. It was called ‘Advice to Those Who Would Love Poets.’”
The General opened his teeth without separating his lips.
“It started something like:
Young man, she will gnaw out your tongue.
Lady, he will steal your hands . . .
You can read the rest. It’s in my second book. If you’re not willing to lose a poet seven times a day, it’s frustrating as hell.”
Working directly in Transport was probably more exciting and fun to watch in the movies; but really, such strange people—
Those with more intelligence and sophistication discussed Rydra Wong’s poetry.
They said in unison: “That’s why you’re such a fine poet.” Rydra went on, “I know, Mocky. I have to work things out carefully in my head and put them in my poems so people will understand. But that’s not what I’ve been doing for the past ten years. You know what I do? I listen to other people, stumbling about with their half thoughts and half sentences and their clumsy feelings that they can’t express—and it hurts me. So I go home and burnish it and polish it and weld it to a rhythmic frame, make the dull colors gleam, mute the garish artificiality to pastels, so it doesn’t hurt anymore: that’s my poem. I know what they want to say and I say it for them.”