Rebel (Pantoum) by John Johnson

Rebel (Pantoum)

No rhyming, no meter, simple language.
They tell me form should not dictate my poem.
You won’t find iambic pentameter or trochaic tetrameter in my writing.
Can I identify as a poet without them?

They tell me form should not dictate my poem.
I always struggle to conform with conventions—
Can I identify as a poet without them?
My ideas and words are left naked, structureless, to be judged.

I always struggle to conform with conventions—
This is how I write.
My ideas and words are left naked, structureless, to be judged.
I call it poetry.

This is how I write.
You won’t find iambic pentameter or trochaic tetrameter in my writing.
I call it poetry.
No rhyming, no meter, simple language.

by John Johnson

Editor’s Note: With every repeated line, irony digs a deeper hole into the ground in this poem. By the end, the speaker is yelling assurances from the bottom of a ditch while this editor snickers.