To Doctor Joe Ofalt
Last night, while taking turns
giving each other oral
vocabulary tests, you said
a sycophant is what you are
in relation to me. I laughed.
I had never once thought of you
as an obsequious toady
to my obdurate tendentiousness.
And when you remarked that
it was â€œchilling that between us,
with our genius IQs,â€ we
couldnâ€™t define â€œpsephology,â€
felicitousness settled upon me.
I was grateful that neither of us
was laconic, or taciturn, but
very loquacious. â€œQueeny,â€™
would be your definition of us
laughing about onomatopoeia
and Sapphic verse form.
You then said, â€œDonâ€™t write
another one of your internecine-
romance poems or I wonâ€™t be able,
and I mean literally able,
to be your friend.â€ So Joe,
how many poets do you know
who in their hubris would take
the advice of an abject flatterer
(as I have in this poem) by not writing
of paramours, but of you
my hilarious and beloved friend?