It's Not That

By Maureen N. McLane Maureen N. McLane
It's not that I'm opposed
to poison in my lips

or pig in my soap—
it's not that I'm opposed.

It's not that I'm opposed
to plastic bottles that won't decompose

to malodorous phosphorus flows—
it's not that I'm opposed

to what you propose—
surgery on your imperfect nose

favelas blasted
with hoses— it's not that

I'm opposed to opposing
the opposite of anonymous

neighbors, the nosy stargazers
who discover new celebrity planets

about to crash into your car. It's not that
I'm opposed that we drive

when it's not very far
to walk or bike not opposed

you're opposed to the subway
the stink of the general—

train 4, 5, or 6–not opposed
to the sex on Craigslist

to your pets' special tricks
to the organized slaughter of cows

by the tenderest machines—
not opposed to your dreams

to their screams to our hopes
not opposed to the hordes

with their ropes knives and bombs
set in desolate streets slums

and thrumming towns not opposed
to your proms and baptisms

to ongoing Christian schisms
most unopposed to fierce Muslims

Jews Baha'is and Hindus posed
in poses temples now oppose

the Kama Sutra too ooh-la-la
for the petit-bourgeois members of the BJP

—not opposed to a big GDP
to a loud ATV not opposed to anything

I can see hear or touch
to "enough or too much"—

It's not that I'm opposed
to whatever I should propose

opposing, knowing
knowing is thinning

in the species' extra inning
on a world slow spinning on an

axis slightly tilting
into folly so is it folly

to suppose you could oppose
proposing something to oppose


Maureen McLane, "It’s Not That" from World Enough. Copyright © 2010 by Maureen McLane. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved.

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Source: World Enough (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010)

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Poet Maureen N. McLane

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Maureen  N. McLane

Biography

Maureen N. McLane grew up in upstate New York and was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Chicago. She is the author of World Enough (2010), and Same Life: poems (2008); and This Blue (2014); as well as the poetry chapbook, This Carrying Life (2006). She has also published two books of literary criticism, Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry (2008) and Romanticism and the Human . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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