The Truth

By Frank Stanford 1948–1978 Frank Stanford

Nicanor Parra

I’m not going to lie
Through my teeth to you
Like the poets from Minnesota,
The South, and the West,
And New York City.

Most of all in life
I would like to fuck a thirteen-year-old again,
And I don’t have any hesitations
About saying I’d rather be Marlon Brando
Than I would T. S. Eliot, etc.

I have more respect for Muhammad Ali
Than any other living man.
Of course I’ve tried Esquire,
But my shoes aren’t platforms
And I don’t know shit about canoes.

Although I can’t prove it,
Most poets work for the highway dept.
There are more of them than there are
Flies and engineers.
And I stink like a dead mule under an overpass.

Estate of Frank Stanford © C.D. Wright

Source: Smoking Grapevine (Unpublished Collection, )

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Poet Frank Stanford 1948–1978

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Life Choices

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Born in 1948, Stanford was a prolific poet known for his originality and ingenuity. He has been dubbed “a swamprat Rimbaud” by Lorenzo Thomas and “one of the great voices of death” by Franz Wright. He grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, and then Arkansas, where he lived for most of his life and wrote many of his most powerful poems. He attended the University of Arkansas from 1967-9 and studied engineering while continuing to . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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