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This headmaster writes a letter to the editor

red ballpoint in liver-marked fingers

the poem entitled Starbucks sonnet he says

it’s clearly not a sonnet, iambs and trochees

all splashed together, line breaks and

enjambments at best a decaffeinated imitation

not acceptable to his purist taste


I sip my espresso slowly, watch a pair

of tattooed gays link fingers, kiss each other’s

ear lobes behind a copy of some postmodernist’s

latest collection.  On the screen over the bar

a crowd of Moslem youths, several with

McDonalds logos on their sweatshirts chant

God is Great.  A pimply redhead sits by her

now cold latte scribbling page after furious

page.  Words scowl at each other like

ethnic combatants on a subway train


I think of some great retorts – Listen gramps

times are changing, have you read anything

recently that was written after 1950, you know

Beethoven was thought an iconoclast by his

reviewers, consider telling him to fuck off and

publish his own mouldy critique column


Eventually settle for a finger on the delete

button and consign him and his attached iambic

pentameter example to the recycle bin

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© Johnmichael Simon



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