Would a bad haiku
on the dead Eliot list
stop dumb "Poems-a-day"?

--- Original Message ---

From: "Chokh Raj" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: July 29, 2013 8:53 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Fw: Poem-A-Day: it: a user's guide by Evie Shockley

potentials of poetry


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 6:39 AM
Subject: Poem-A-Day: it: a user's guide by Evie Shockley

it: a user's guide
i hear it jingling in the pockets of the innocent heirs of fundamentally well-meaning transatlantic traders and new world farmers. i see a wad of it stuffed in the jeans of the celebrities whose tracks, films, and reality shows are beloved by fans all across the nation and wherever american culture is exported. i feel it varnishing the walls of my classrooms and my home like a thick coat of paint. they paved the street with it last week. it is transporting, transcendent, the fastest way up and out. many brands of condoms use it as a lubricant, for her pleasure. it works to slide things through congress, too. i heard the military discovered it makes a great explosive, as demonstrated twice in japan for all the world to see. keep an eye on your drink at the club--they'll slip some of it into your glass when you're not looking, when your attention is focused on that scantily-clad ass and your head is pounding with the rhythm of the bass. better to get a prescription for it, take it in the recommended doses--and even then there may be side effects, including nausea, dry mouth, depression, anxiety, shortness of breath, insomnia, tremors, and memory loss. it's an effective decongestant, opening clogged passages into colleges and universities, offices (corporate and political), and professional sports. you can light a fire with it, say, at your neighborhood barbeque, where even the vigilant (the e is silent) may burn the meat to a crisp. vigilance is the best way to demonstrate your innocence, inherited or acquired by other means, by any means necessary.
Copyright © 2013 by Evie Shockley. Used with permission of the author.  
About This Poem
"I offer this poem in memory of Trayvon Martin, in his own right and as representative of many others. I worked on making the writing tight, but even so, I invite you to imagine spaces between the sentences, into which you could insert additional sentences: your own observations and understandings of it. All together, perhaps, we could enable this poem to realize its full potential, as both epic and exorcism.
--Evie Shockley
Most Recent Book by Shockley

(Wesleyan University Press, 2012)

July 29, 2013
Evie Shockley's most recent book of poems is the new black (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). She teaches at Rutgers University and lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Shockley recently read in the Academy's Summer Reading Series.
Related Poems
by Carl Dennis
by Nikky Finney
by Michael S. Harper
Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, Poem-A-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on 
weekdays and classic poems 
on weekends. Browse the 
Thanks for being a part of the Academy of American Poets community. To learn about other programs, including National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day, the annual Poets Forum, and more, visit
This email was sent to [log in to unmask] by [log in to unmask] |  
Academy of American Poets | 75 Maiden Lane | Suite 901 | New York | NY | 10038