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Poem for April The First


Love Or Poetry

I know now that love, not poetry, will save me
From your blessed injuries, your uneven surfaces,
Your deviant forms and targeted marketing; and
Not just love, but any love, will do – various

As all get out; love of whomever, by anything
Or anyone is the get out of jail card required, free
As every player of Monopoly knows (on the nose,
Write it on the nose); poetry has been a killer

Of children, and the old; it has been in a sorry state
Of late; it hurts what touches it; it congeals
Habits that are poor, shows generosity the door.
The sun is a good example of love, when out;

When obscured by clouds, that’s poetry society:
Lowering, glowering, scouring, causing some to
Cower. Love opens a bower of roses no winter
Can annoy or dislodge; love forgives, pardons,

And cajoles merely to improve. Poetry judges,
Decides, and awards. Sets up a moon in the place
Of the sun, elected by its Parnassian buddies,
Chortles in crisscrossed darkness, calling shadows

Swords, beams of the moon rays of pure gold.
I bleed on poetry’s knife-crime statistics, cut
Like a line that doesn’t work. It won’t open out
Like love will. Poetry mutters, scuttles, rebuts.

I strut now in bars of sure sheer sun, unashamed
Of my lack of poetry. I swoon to swim in prose.
I love what this lack of tortured syntax means;
It means I can go waste my life being ordinary.


poem by Todd Swift;
photo by Madeleine Waller
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