Thursday, August 11, 2011


I wrote the wrong poem: sure I meant
to write one covered with welts, one
that had been whipped behind
the woodshed for a series of minor
crimes—you saw it, say, rooting
through your medicine cabinet
in search of Percocet, or you caught it,
say, in your underwear drawer, or maybe
it was sitting on the couch eating
the very last Danish when you got home
from work, but that is not
what happened. The poem I wrote
crossed the line entirely: it marched
with the Klan in Selma, it voted against
gay marriage, it fired one of the rifles
at Kent State. It was a bastard through
and through, but when it turned up
on my doorstep, homeless, ragged,
out of breath, I forgot all about its
many faults, prejudices, failures,
and wrote the damn thing down.

About Carl James Grindley:
Carl James Grindley grew up on an island off the West Coast of Canada, and studied in the US and Europe. He has taught creative writing at Yale University, and works at The City University of New York. His book Icon was published in 2008 by No Record Press. He has recent work in Anatomy and Etymology, A Bad Penny Review, and Atticus Review. Grindley is a founding editor of The South Bronx Review.

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