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To Cure Itself


ISSUE:  Spring 1997

It’s a sick life, being poet.
He writes to give himself health
so long as he writes. When he lays down
his pen or shuts off his typewriter,
he falls ill again.

He finds himself in the world, bare,
except that he hears the poetry
of gunfire and cries of revenge,
worse yet, murder.

It is poetry he could translate
into words, if he is gripped by despair,
the words forming a burial chant
for the dead and those crazed
by gunfire.

Poetry lifts itself away
from its origin, so as
to maintain itself, so as
to speak, so as
to cure itself
of death and of life.

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