By Scott Cairns b. 1954 Scott Cairns
Not your ordinary ice cream, though the glaze   
of these skeletal figures affects
the disposition of those grinning candies
one finds in Mexico, say, at the start of November,   
though here, each face is troublingly familiar,   
exhibits the style adopted just as one declines   
any further style—nectar one sips just as he   
draws his last, dispassionate breath, becomes   
citizen of a less earnest electorate. One learns   
in that city finally how to enjoy a confection,   
even if a genuine taste for this circumstance   
has yet to be acquired, even if it is oneself   
whose sugars and oils now avail a composure   
which promises never to end, nor to alter.

Scott Cairns, “Necropolitan” from Recovered Body. Copyright © 1998 by Scott Cairns. Reprinted with the permission of George Braziller, Inc.

Source: Recovered Body (George Braziller Inc., 1998)

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Poet Scott Cairns b. 1954

Subjects Living, The Body, Nature, Horror, Death, Mythology & Folklore

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Scott  Cairns


Scott Cairns was born in Tacoma, Washington. He received his B.A. from Western Washington University, his M.A. from Hollins College, an M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Cairns has taught at numerous universities including University of North Texas, Old Dominion University, and the University of Missouri. He was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 2006.

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, Nature, Horror, Death, Mythology & Folklore

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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