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Thursday, June 27, 2013


by Jen Karetnick

Image credit: mjak / 123RF Stock Photo

The government is reading my emails,
they say. I wish they’d read my poems instead.
I would submit them for review as shells
of free-verse, villanelle grenades, bomb threats
whose line breaks they can’t unworm from their ears.
I would send them to the front lines to serve,
volunteer them as SEALs, special forces,
if that’s what it takes, poems leading the charge
in the fight to be the best in the world,
submissive soldiers of allegory
and slant rhyme. But poems are dismissed as girls.
Metaphors don’t receive the attention they
deserve. My emails are scanned, deleted,
the poems in them no gun to anyone’s head.

Jen Karetnick is a Miami poet with three published chapbooks, the latest called Landscaping for Wildlife (BigWonderful Press, 2012). Her next two books, an anthology of South Florida poetry and prose, Sun-Struck Matches (Tigertail Productions), and a cookbook, Mango (University of Florida Press), are forthcoming in fall 2013 and fall 2014. Jen works as the Creative Writing Director for Miami Arts Charter School and a freelance food-travel critic and writer. These poems are from a manuscript-in-progress, My Buddha Wears a Pout.