Don’t

Walk under the moon’s umbrella,
Play tic tac toe with dreams,
Spit in the empty birdbath,
Disguise yourself as a mannequin,
Visit the cemetery of rascals,
Eat scallions in the afternoon,
Give flowers, except to the living,
Embroider the sheets of charity,
Hunker down when the troubles unroll,
Believe in fate’s mercurial clock,
Wear the hat of a profiteer,
Write a check to a bounty hunter,
Burn the book of memory,
Take a child to the hidden wood,
Slave in the mines like a blind mule,
Sing when it’s starless,
Dance to a forlorn tune,
Put on the gloves of industry,
Tell the story again and again,
Take hostage the souvenir of sadness,
Live like a bombardier
Armed and above it all.


* * * * * *

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review‘s James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010). She is the editor of Illinois Racing News,and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 11 books including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book and her newest book from Future Cycle Press—Dead Horses. FutureCycle has just published her Selected Poems. A chapbook, Bittersweet, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Press next winter.

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