When asked if I consider this creation—
your writing—sufficient cause for my elation;
when you begin to tout your inspiration,
your accolades proclaimed throughout the nation,
I soon discover in my consternation
a second understanding of the situation:
Your work displays an intimate relation
to what I see as artificial self-inflation.
And so, if urged to complement success
through future publication, I confess
the option causes me acute distress.
Your work’s less fresh than forced, less
wise than cute, less poetry than verse. With due respect
I’ll choose to move ahead. Not to regress.