Bill Yarrow, Professor of English at Joliet Junior College, is the author of eleven books of poetry including Blasphemer and The Vig of Love. His poems have been published in Poetry International, FRiGG, Gargoyle, PANK, Confrontation, Contrary, Diagram, Thrush, Chiron Review, RHINO, and many other journals. Bill recommends Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
It’s not that hard to learn that friends have died.
We’re used to death fucking everything up.
But to watch them suffer, to listen to them
scream. And whimper. And moan. That’s rough.
I am sitting in the shadow of fortuitous buildings,
the Bhagavad Gita on my mind, but I am part of
no such embroidered parable. So much so, adventure
seems hardly to exist.
You're in Brooklyn, a place of cruelty
in your youth, a place of probity
in your dotage. You sit on a bench
vacated by Jamaican nannies
under which portly pigeons nuzzle
Evil's another story, a story
whose orphan narrator is misery,
married to pain, son of suffering,
sibling of spleen. I have seen evil.
You have too, so you know there's
only one way to get rid of it.
If you're not any more interesting polluted
than you are pristine
then what's the point?