Addiction

By A. F. Moritz b. 1947
I wish we could control this revolting
want of control: these people
with their spongy eyes, their mouths
of trembling shoehorns, billhooks for penises
and bear traps for vulvas.
One taste of sunlight and at once
they can’t do without it. Water,
the same, and food, and air,
and a dozen other squalid habits.
Some—like their copulation,
a rusting carnation in a cut-glass neck—
are not physically compulsive but
the partners can’t stop wanting them to be:
so we desire to be raped
by love, who would fill us, they say,
with an oil from the lit braziers of stars.
What if, doing it every day,
we resemble pistons, and the slow poison
cuts our lives off at 70:
it’s the grim determination
of our passion. And beyond this, even I—
defended in childhood by my strong father
the piano and my mother the virtuoso
from knuckles among warehouses—even I
am addicted to the mild light of words.

Albert Frank Moritz, “Addiction” from Early Poems. Copyright © 2002 by Albert Frank Moritz. Reprinted with the permission of Insomniac Press.

Source: Early Poems (Insomniac Press, 2002)

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Poet A. F. Moritz b. 1947

POET’S REGION Canada

Subjects Relationships, Class, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Social Commentaries

 A. F. Moritz

Biography

A.F. Moritz (Albert F. Moritz) is the author of more than 15 books of poetry; he has received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Relit Award (for Night Street Repairs, named the best book of poetry published in Canada in 2005), an Ingram Merrill Fellowship, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. A Canadian citizen, Moritz was born in Ohio and moved to Canada in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Class, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION Canada

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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