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Falling Through Eden
Jack
Robert Correy
The Frog
A Behaviorist to His Love
forty
Sonnet on an Ice-Floe
How Khrushchev Stole ...
My Life in 3 Paragraphs
fifty
With Love to X
 

Thirteen Ways of Killing a Blackbird

“A few weeks ago, the seven members of the New York City Board of Education found something odd in their mailboxes: three Wallace Stevens poems, courtesy of Harold O. Levy, the interim schools chancellor. . . . ‘For the most part I’m ignoring it,’ said Ninfa Segarra, one of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s appointees to the board . . . ‘I’m not a poetry kind of person. I like serial killer novels.’ ”

--New York Times, May 2, 2000

I

Bake it in a pie
Fit for a king
Or the unshaved of London.

II

Fricassee it.
Serve with fava beans.

III

Eat it raw.
Gnaw the bones.

IV

Mix birdseed and arsenic.
Strew along the daily path
Of the neighbors’ cat.

V

Pop it with a pistol.

VI

Ream it with a rifle.

VII

Erase it with an Uzi.

VIII

Gut it with a surgeon’s scalpel
Gleaming in the fog.

IX

Bury it out back
With the other bodies.

X

List it as an endangered species.
Let angry farmers
Do the rest.

XI

Level its nesting trees
To build a subdivision.
Name the subdivision
Blackbird Commons.

XII

Capture it in verse.
Interrogate it, masticate it, spread it thin
Across ten thousand writtens,
Two thousand orals,
Thirteen fat dissertations.

XIII

Tuck it in a schoolboard member’s mailbox
To be tossed
With tomorrow’s trash.

                                                          

                                                                                     Alan C. Elms


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