How Yah Doon Poetry Launch
A Poem by Todd Swift
are jaded; they've killed men; worn monocles
in Serbia; been roadies for Depeche Mode;
nurtured a wild sloth simply to drain its blood; know
all about young models from Old Gdansk; eat
the thankless task of editing poetry for breakfast
on the trembling, nearly-transparent stomach
of a starving albino woman shackled to a bronze
figure of the glorious Sade. Don't try to shock
the shockless, friend: we've tortured winos as a treat;
spent days caressing the wingless fly we made,
teaching it Latin. In the fabled Pleasure Gardens of
Budapest we spared few moments of concern
for those who tasted our spleen. We've seen:
O have we seen; starlets have obeyed our commands,
escape artists from O to Z have pried at locks
we've set about their constricted, shaved bodies.
If you still think you're work is worth submitting to us
it doesn't bode that well. We've got the passport
stamps to establish we once resided gladly in hell;
we dine on pink kitten-meat - splash it down
with the milk of human cruelty. Hope you can spell.
Todd Swift is a London-based Canadian poet and anthologist. Currently he curates the successful Oxfam Poetry Series, in Marylebone. His most recent book is Rue du Regard (D.C. Books: Montreal, 2004). He is a core tutor with The Poetry School.