Tone Deficit

By Kevin McFadden Kevin McFadden
Can't tell your oh from your ah? Go, go or else   
go ga-ga. What, were you born in a barn? Oh.
Ah. What do you say when the dentist asks?
No novacaine? Nah. Then joke's on us, Jack:

we gnaw ourselves when we really ought to know.   
Can't tell the force from the farce, nor our   
cores from our cars. The horde works hard in this   
new nation of shopkeeps, moles in malls, minding   

our stores when we should be minding our stars.
Harmony, whoremoney—can we even tell   
the showman from the shaman? Or are we
the worst kind of   tourists, doing La France   

in low fronts, sporting shorts at Chartres   
and so alone in our élan? Nope. We're Napoleons   
of nowhere, hopeless going on hapless,
unable to tell our Elbas from our elbows.

Source: Poetry (September 2006).

 Kevin  McFadden


Kevin McFadden is the author of Hardscrabble (University of Georgia Press), which won the 2009 George Garrett Prize for poetry.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Consonance, Assonance, Alliteration

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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