“Too Late for Anarchy” – Poetry by Marc Harshman

The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli – Carlo Carra, 1911

“Too Late for Anarchy” is one of three (or five) wry and wistful poems by Marc Harshman in our Summer 2018 issue.

{ X }

I SEE THE PRESIDENT ON THE NEWS.
I curl up on the floor.  Play dead.

I open the envelope containing my paycheck,
              accidentally tear its little cellophane window.
Carefully, close all my windows.  Weep, regret,
              and think how a pound of flesh is inadequate.

Sorry excuses come across my desk.
I’m sorry they do, sorry they are,
              sorry they’ll not be enough.

It might have been a victory.
By the time we got there
              it was just blood and roses; not quite
              a cemetery, but something solemn, sacrilegious
              about which words fell like ashes
              into and out of history.

I look the winter in the face.
The bare trees straighten
              their crooked branches
with heartbreaking enterprise.
              The pond freezes over.
The arthritis flows through me
              one sorrow at a time.
I’m no longer sure I can
              clench my fists, let alone
              close my eyes.

You asked me to tell you.

I no longer watch the news.
Sometimes I remember who we were.
Sometimes I open my eyes.

{ X }

MARC HARSHMAN’s collection, WOMAN IN A RED ANORAK, has won the 2017 Blue Lynx Prize and will be published later this year by Lynx House/University of Washington Press. His fourteenth children’s book, FALLINGWATER, co-written with Anna Smucker, was published by Roaring Brook/Macmillan in 2017. His poetry collection, Believe What You Can, was published in 2016 by West Virginia University Press and won the Weatherford Award from the Appalachian Studies Association. Poems have been anthologized by Kent State University, the University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and the University of Arizona. He is the seventh poet laureate of West Virginia.

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