Thomas Fink


After a 

91-day supply of gratuitous trauma, 
Edie and Jack beached a mutual 

realization about the long arcs 
required of a golf pro and a 
computer physician in these 

dense woods. A cattle-prod has its virtues, but 
one can’t 
just club 

taser one’s heirs 
into the 
desired elasticity or 
indifference, much less chronic 
cheer. Despite their sub-par grip 

on subroutines, 
must be 
ready to 
bare every bit of the impossible conditions 
they’re shruggingly endured.

               —with a nod to Ezra Pound

                Damn it all: I demand peace.
Damn those street noises; crank up the chamber music   
to mollify opposing forces. Even a spoon of pop music  
         could bring those mongers to the peace  
                table—if soft. Yet some peace    
          warriors get stoked on rock hard music    

             before circling hawks—if that music       
                       loudly growls for peace.       
                         The only viable clash            
                  eschews externalizable crimson.
                      Hey, why are you rejoicing   
               about a strategically postponed clash?  

        Wait 36 months. If, until then, the only crimson   
          unleashed is made of paint, then try rejoicing.

Thomas Fink has published 11 books of poetry—most recently A Pageant for Every Addiction (Marsh Hawk P, 2020), written collaboratively with Maya D. Mason, Hedge Fund Certainty (Meritage P and i.e. P, 2019) and Selected Poems & Poetic Series (Marsh Hawk P, 2016)—as well as two books of criticism, and three edited anthologies, including Reading the Difficulties: Dialogues with Contemporary American Innovative Poetry (U of Alabama P, 2014). His work appeared in Best American Poetry 2007, edited by David Lehman and Heather McHugh. His paintings hang in various collections. Fink is Professor of English at CUNY-LaGuardia.
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