Simone Muench & Philip Jenks

Dear Philip and Simone—

Your writing’s overwrought. Too haute.
Not cuisine or couture, but chicken-legged

high-kickin’ rhetoric vetted, vent,
and le vexor. French-fried car-talkers

superspeed diesel drama. You’re all dilemma
and no serenity. Prickly as jamestown weed

more story than history. You’ve been dissed
and rechristened: poet to bootlegger; writer

to gothic romancer. I just want to know:
were you in Louisiana simultaneously?

Is that a place or frequency of syllabic
slowdown? A dos-a-dos at the American Legion

hoedown where everyone’s shouting bingo.
You once had a chance – sparrow and listen.

Trued by circumstance? Forget the men and shake
the dj into harmony, shake yourselves out of

a neutered dance, tremors of a doomed species.
Who locks lips to see what one is not?

Who writes themselves to save themselves
only to find later that the whole of heavenly frame

is sickness propped up on a slouching tongue.