The Anti-confessional, Confessional Poem

We all tidy up our rooms a bit
before allowing in guests:
a Lysol can for stale odors,
a wet rag to dust
a good bend of the back to pick up strewn papers,
a drawer to stash those books and magazines
that would embarrass us were strangers to know
we really read such things,
these are the necessities for our
etiquette of hospitality.
In our now tidy rooms
we position in strategic places
(solely for the sake of vanity)
artifacts of mystery or praise:
a jade Buddha, an original print from Soho,
old awards and diplomas,
are all acceptable,
but beware overdoing it.

Shall I now open the doors to the rooms of my mind?
The words you're reading
come from the compartments of my brain.
I've tidied up.
I've used my delete key
to clear thoughts improvidently typed.
Thoughts that all of you have,
but would make you wince were I to echo them.
Those ideas, those images
that are best discussed
only with close friends, or expensive psychotherapists,
have all been safely tucked away.
I've also followed all the rules
of Strunk and White.
I've even placed exotic nouns here and there
to impress you with conjured up mysteries.
I confess vanity,
but am I a poet?
If I am, then am I ergo
a nonconformist?
I'm as conventional as a banker;
I just follow a different set of rules.

Richard Fein