A Geography of Poets

By Andrei Codrescu b. 1946 Andrei Codrescu
is all wrong, ed
 
what poets now live
where they say they do
where they started out
where they want to
 
half the midwesterners
did time in new york
the other half in california
 
only new yorkers write
as if they are from new york
and mostly they are not
 
the ones in california
were wounded elsewhere
when they feel better
or can't afford the rent
they'll go back where
they came from
 
this is america
you get hurt where you are born
you make poetry out of it
as far from home as you can get
you die somewhere in between
 
the only geography of poets
is greyhound
general motors rules them all
ubi patria ibi bene
or ibi bene ubi patria
bread out of nostalgia
not a lot of it either
some of us came from very far
maps don't help much
 

Andrei Codrescu, "A Geography of Poets" from it was today. Copyright © 2003 by Andrei Codrescu.  Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press.

Source: it was today (Coffee House Press, 2003)

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Poet Andrei Codrescu b. 1946

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Life Choices, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

 Andrei  Codrescu

Biography

Born Andrei Perlmutter in Transylvania soon after the Holocaust, poet, novelist, and essayist Andrei Codrescu moved to Detroit in 1966 and eventually settled in New Orleans. In his earliest poetry workshops he was encouraged to change his name. He first took the surname Steiu, and then adopted Codrescu.
 
Codrescu’s poetry explores themes of identity, exile, and transformation with bold irreverence. He is the author of dozens . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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