What Rough Beast | Poem for September 7, 2017

D. Dina Friedman
Lessons in Portaging

An American Revolution is unfolding.
—Anna Kirwan

Don’t worry about balance
or the nasty roots—beware of the boat
blocking your vision, the leader
pulling you by the hull.

Disregard expectation
of solid ground. Walk right
through the muck:
path of truth, justice,
the American swamp.
A footprint’s waiting for you,
round and filled with slime.

Invention is crucial
in this wilderness of loons.
Save your bare butt; stake
the mosquito net over the toilet pit.
Squeeze the spying flies
Wring their leaky bodies
into shit.

If the campsites are taken
beg to buddy up.
This isn’t rude; it’s merely socialism

Pay no attention
to thunder, the scary man
behind the curtain;
he’s only in your head.
All you’ve heard in days
are the cries of birds.

Bathe in the lake. Disinfect
the drinking water, and remember,
words can save us: Speak softly
to the bear and back away.
Make sure to keep clanging the pot.


D. Dina Friedman’s poems have appeared in Calyx, Common Ground Review, Lilith, New Plains Review, Negative Capability, Bloodroot, Inkwell, Pacific Poetry and Fiction Review, Tsunami, The Sun, Jewish Currents, Anderbo, San Pedro River Review, Mount Hope, and Rhino. She directs the Call-To-Action website 3NoTrump (3 quick actions you can take each week to help stop the madness.) Dina holds an MFA from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., and teach at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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