Daniel Lawless




And to all the others, read but never or too late heard

Words and names I’ve mispronounced

Over the years

I apologize most sincerely

And for your prompt and scholarly corrections

Offered so generously strictly in the interests of accuracy

Without regard for circumstance or company

As language demands of course

O my tireless erstwhile tutors —

Beginning with hip Sister Margaret

Who played Leonard Co-HEN for us

And especially you dear colleague M.

Fond of referring with the utmost assurance

To Hilliard’s seminal minitures

I ask humbly of whoever is in charge of such matters

That when you die you return to this earth circa 1012

In the person of Tang Su

Who while dining at the court of the Emperor

Laid down his chopsticks pointing east rather than west

And so was dragged by his hair from the chambers

Into seventeen years of penal solitude

In the freezing dust-choked provinces

Where he gobbled pig-slop with his fingers

And even the chickens

Turned in disgust their thin faces from him


DANIEL LAWLESS‘s poems have recently appeared in The Meadow, Cortland Review, PIF, SN Review, Adirondack Review, and Ampersand Review. He is the founder and editor of Plume.

Read more by Daniel Lawless:

Poem in The Cortland Review
Poem in PIF
Poem in SN Review
Poem in Prick of the Spindle