An Interplanetary Love Sonnet

Because a man was shot in Petrograd,
Because the twin princesses kissed a toad,
Because three emperors were barking mad,
Because four trunnions couldn't bear the load,
Because the appalling pentastich was spoken,
Because we walked on six of Saturn's moons,
Because the seventh seal remains unbroken,
Because my grandparents were octaroons,
Because your sacred sisterhood are nine
Because the Mosaic Law is far too tough,
Because my superfluous toe is porpentine,
Because the Julian months are not enough,
Because a baker's dozen would be fine,
Because your sonnet needs its fourteenth line.

by John Whitworth

John Whitworth is one of those fattish, baldish, backward-looking, provincial poets in which England is so rich (perhaps too rich). He lives in Canterbury along with wife, daughters and cats. His ninth collection, Being the Bad Guy was published by Peterloo Poets in 2007. Les Murray likes it. Good on him. You might also consider Writing Poetry published by A & C Black which is one of those how-to books and jolly good, though I say it myself.

Living Alone

Fresh air will do me good. I should get out
And live a little, having drinks with friends,
And latch, like barnacles that cling to ships,
On fleets of party-goers till the ends
Of energy are reached, and something slips.
Fresh air will do me good. I should get out

Just call her--what's the harm if she says no?
Or what if she says yes, and evenings sag
With the dead weight of promises and wishes
That never quite come true, but rather drag
To frumpy underwear and dirty dishes?
Just call her--what's the harm if she says no?

Our shrinks wait in their little rooms like priests
To grant us absolution for the week.
We whine about our sins, and it's okay
Until we sin again and things get bleak.
"That's ninety dollars. See you Saturday."
Our shrinks wait in their little rooms like priests.

by Quincy Lehr

Quincy Lehr is a native of Oklahoma, who, after stints in Austin, Texas, New York, and Dublin, finds himself living in Galway, Ireland, where he teaches history. He has a chapbook, William Montgomery (Modern Metrics, 2006), and his first full-length book of poems, The Perfect Joke, will be published by Seven Towers in 2008.

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