John Hancock’s John Hancock

By Jason Guriel Jason Guriel

makes wind
the way it whirls
about and blows
the neighboring names
of other signatories
away. The point
of it is not
the John or Jane
Doe it names;
the point’s the quill
in motion as if
still stuck
and aquiver in
goose skin.
The trick to writing
well isn’t up
the sleeve. It is
the sleeve
that fluffs up
the flourish,
that blooms around
the stunted stamens
of the fingers
and distracts us
from our grasping
for the sun
or the uncertain
of the stylus.

Source: Poetry (April 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2012
 Jason  Guriel


Jason Guriel is a poet and critic whose work has appeared in such influential publications as Poetry, Slate, Reader's Digest, The Walrus, Parnassus, Canadian Notes & Queries, The New Criterion, and PN Review. His poetry has been anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, and in 2007, he was the first Canadian to receive the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry magazine. He won Poetry's Editors Prize for Book Reviewing in . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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