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I wrote another poem. It’ll be ok.

I wrote this poem and Serena at Poetry Northwest asked for some poems so I sent it with some other poems. I didn’t know it would be the poem she picked, because it was new and I didn’t know what it was and it’s breath rose from the basinet like a good line from a Sylvia Plath poem. But I wrote this poem.

And it’s about grieving the death of someone who is alive. Because we are alive but, in relation to one another, we, the subject of the poem, are dead. And to speak to one another is to speak with the dead. I didn’t realize that for a long time. I thought we could root around each other and flower.

Here’s a hyperlink to the poem.

It’s kind of a weird poem for me. Here’s some lines a reader pulled out:

I know I can return
to it all in my mind
like the king who let
us pull away gold letters
knotted to his doublet
when we pulled we made the
alphabet that made him
king, the alphabet we
trade for silence
stuffed into a hole

This poem came from a place where a lot of my poems come from: back floating in a big salty pool of exhaustion.

I had another thought, only half related to this poem, about why so many poems about work are elegies, elegies for the life work wastes.

Now I’d like to talk about the neoliberalization of the university…

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About the Author

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Joe Hall is the author of five books of poetry, including Someone's Utopia (2018) and Fugue & Strike (forthcoming). His poems, reviews, and scholarship have appeared in Poetry Daily, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Postcolonial Studies, Peach Mag,, PEN America Blog, Poetry Northwest, Ethel Zine, Gulf Coast, Best Buds! Collective, and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. He has taught poetry workshops for teachers, teens, and workers through Just Buffalo and the WNYCOSH Worker Center.

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