Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Thomas Sayers Ellis: All Their Stanzas Look Alike

All their fences

     All their prisons

All their exercises

     All their agendas

All their stanzas look alike

     All their metaphors

All their bookstores

     All their plantations

All their assassinations

     All their stanzas look alike

All their rejection letters

     All their letters to the editor

All their arts and letters

     All their letters of recommendation

All their stanzas look alike

     All their sexy coverage

All their literary journals

     All their car commercials

All their bribe-spiked blurbs

     All their stanzas look alike

All their favorite writers

     All their writing programs

All their visiting writers

     All their writers-in-residence

All their stanzas look alike

     All their third worlds

All their world series

     All their serial killers

All their killing fields

     All their stanzas look alike

All their state grants

     All their tenure tracks

All their artist colonies

     All their core faculties

All their stanzas look alike

     All their Selected Collecteds

All their Oxford Nortons

     All their Academy Societies

All their Oprah Vendlers

     All their stanzas look alike

All their haloed holocausts

     All their coy hetero couplets

All their hollow haloed causes

      All their tone-deaf tercets

All their stanzas look alike

      All their tables of contents

All their Poet Laureates

      All their Ku Klux classics

All their Supreme Court justices

      Except one, except one

Exceptional one. Exceptional or not,

      One is not enough.

All their stanzas look alike.

      Even this, after publication,

Might look alike. Disproves

      My stereo types.

From The Maverick Room. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Sayers Ellis. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Poet, photographer, professor, Thomas Sayers Ellis is the bandleader and a co-founding member of Heroes Are Gang Leaders. He is the author of “The Maverick Room,” “Skin, Inc. Identity Repair Poems, ” and “The Corny Toys,” a chapbook length poem. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Best American Poetry, The Nation, Tin House as well as numerous anthologies. He has taught at numerous Universities and is the recipient of a Mrs. Giles Whiting Writers Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry in 2015.

Image by Thomas Sayers Ellis, Oaxaca, Mexico  2018

.

Thomas Sayers Ellis by James Brandon Lewis

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