Dorian Kotsiopoulos


My Husband Gives Advice about Being Married to a Poet

You attend the occasional poetry reading
(also known as sitting in folding chairs
feeling stupid.) Everyone else understands,
makes appreciative mouth sounds.

You might be surprised to hear your wife
read a poem about her three-legged Basset Hound
or your sun-bleached blue canoe when you’ve never
owned a dog or a canoe. Just go along with it.

You get tricked. This is my last poem,
a featured poet might say, and then introduce
a 10-part poem about climate change.
You feel the globe warm another degree.

It’s almost over, you think, except there’s open mic
where anyone off the street
can read a poem they might have just made up
that morning. You pray for patience and haikus.

Rule followers will not like this crowd.
There’s one simple rule: one 1-page poem,
a law with too many loopholes
(8-point font) and no consequences.

You wish the violators papercuts.
Refreshments are mandatory
because your wife wants to talk more
about poetry.

An elderly woman will splash wine on you,
name major poets you never heard of who seduced her
at some conference in Vermont that sounds
like a bakery, ask if you like poetry too.

I always say Yeah. I love my wife.

Dorian Kotsiopoulos has featured at various poetry venues in Massachusetts, including the Brookline Public Library, the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain, and the Fuller Art Museum in Brockton. Her work has appeared in literary and medical journals, including Poet Lore, Salamander, Slipstream, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, On the Seawall, and Smartish Pace. She is a member of the Jamaica Pond Poets.