Matthew Rohrer

POEM [for king and country]


in the pillory

where I stood for years

the indigo buntings

visited me and warned me


but i couldn't understand

them, my penance spent

in silence, in sad humor-

less achievement


of the king's aims

my countryside watered with tears 

the cherry trees blossomed

like a disease across the land


in silence and obscurity

my revolution grew fatter

and plotted the insurrection

of a lifetime spent in ignorance


of birdsong and waterways

i sharpened my axe

while the king's men awaited

my organ failure


my orange jumpsuit fluttered

bravely by the seaside

and the small beasts rallied

around it


their revolution will not be


dominion everywhere

of patient dung beetles


as the king marches around

in his bedroom in front of a mirror




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