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Saturday At The Border

 "Form follows function follows form .
, etc.
" --Dr.
Anthony Wadlington Here I am writing my first villanelle At seventy-two, and feeling old and tired-- "Hey, Pops, why dontcha give us the old death knell?"-- And writing it what's more on the rim of hell In blazing Arizona when all I desired Was north and solitude and not a villanelle, Working from memory and not remembering well How many stanzas and in what order, wired On Mexican coffee, seeing the death knell Of sun's salvos upon these hills that yell Bloody murder silently to the much admired Dead-blue sky.
One wonders if a villanelle Can do the job.
Granted, old men now must tell Our young world how these bigots and these retired Bankers of Arizona are ringing the death knell For everyone, how ideologies compel Children to violence.
Artifice acquired For its own sake is war.
Frail villanelle, Have you this power? And must Igo and sell Myself? "Wow," they say, and "cool"--this hired Old poetry guy with his spaced-out death knell.
Ah, far from home and God knows not much fired By thoughts of when he thought he was inspired, He writes by writing what he must.
Death knell Is what he's found in his first villanelle.
Credit: Copyright © 1995 by Hayden Carruth.
Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.

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