What do you do if you don't understand a tough poem? Call the poet and ask them. Curtis Fox, host of the Poetry Off the Shelf podcasts, phones Dean Young to know more about Young's puzzling poem, "Dear Reader,". Listen to it here.
When I first read "Dear Reader," from Young's collection, embryoyo, I laughed without really knowing why but I liked that. Then the more I read it, the more it seemed to make sense. Personally, I don't think a poet has to explain his/her "meaning" or "intention" behind a piece. Once it's out there for the world to read, it takes on a life of its own and the more one tries to explain its reason for being, the more it loses its sense of mystery. It's like explaining the punchline of a joke.
If you enjoyed "Dear Reader,", I recommend you read Dean's beautiful (and perhaps somewhat depressing and oddly funny) poem, "The Infirmament".