Let this poem stand in, let this ill-tempered poem be

My reaction to the tragedy.

Why ill-tempered? Because no sorrow

Lives, except that which I borrow.

A poet doesn’t put on displays,

And is true never to one occasion, but to all our yesterdays.

My nerves are bad. I will feel sad tomorrow.

I know I will. I will feel sorrow for myself whenever I die,

And that will be real sorrow.

I don’t feel sorrow now, so why should I try?

Yes, that’s right. This is honesty. Do you feel the true, lyric I?

Blame it on my muse, who hides in the real shadows,

Who, as I make my way to this poetry reading,

Might be around the corner—I might see her with someone else;

Nothing I see on the news can compete with her,

Even those I see on the news who are dead. Or crying, or bleeding.

All distant from me: the experimental poem, a flag’s color,

All that’s public: blah, blah, blah, buying and signing and selling books.

Blame ill-temper on love. I feel ill, I feel strange things where no one looks.







  1. noochinator said,

    November 16, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Hard to feel sorrow for people you never met — but how about sorrow for stupid policies that brought about outcomes you could see coming from a mile away?


  2. maryangeladouglas said,

    November 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm


    in the forest of news of the nearly complete devastations
    this I pray: you find the fairy tale clearing;
    that you get away from all this

    as one poet said, if not one thousand,
    too much for us
    somewhere where the far cathedral candles of

    the stars will not will not

    burn down the inner landscapes holy; wholly
    where you are, on every hand
    the kaleidoscope breaks forth;

    the call not to jeweled alarms
    in darkness careening but

    only into singing
    and Radiance, unforestalled.

    mary angela douglas 16 november 2015

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