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Saturday, November 05, 2022


by Dana Yost

The Globe and Mail

Excuse me
but this is dangerous
writing in a time like
this, a time when words
get twisted and torn,
not believed, turned
into political device.
U don’t mind being
a political device,
but with my own words
my way,

not picked up
by a politician
and run through
a damned 
in front of 4,000
of non-belief.

There is a man
outside on the street
wearing a stocking hat
and long-sleeved shirt
blowing hard in the afternoon
wind. Is he spying 
on someone or just sitting
on the bench
waiting for his children
to come outside?
It is sights like
this that stoke 
paranoia, of course,
in the left and the right.

But damaging a man’s
skull is something 
no one should
accept or mock
or use to rally
the charges.
It’s sad
and sickening
and a crime
and that’s what
it is and, there,
I’ve said it—a crime
fueled by rhetoric,
and the grocery clerks
and taxi drivers
in this town will
either agree
or hate me.

This is dangerous
to be a writer
today, to say
what is ugly,
to say it
to walk
on downtown
books lunging
out of my coat
because there
are men with guns
who don’t know
how to use them
but think they do.

Dana Yost was an award-winning daily newspaper editor and writer for twenty-nine years. Since 2008, he has published eight books and been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes in poetry. His poetry has appeared in several reviews, magazines and other publications, including previously in The New Verse News.