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All Their Stanzas Look Alike

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All their fences
     All their prisons
All their exercises
     All their agendas
All their stanzas look alike
     All their metaphors
All their bookstores
     All their plantations
All their assassinations
     All their stanzas look alike
All their rejection letters
     All their letters to the editor
All their arts and letters
     All their letters of recommendation
All their stanzas look alike
     All their sexy coverage
All their literary journals
     All their car commercials
All their bribe-spiked blurbs
     All their stanzas look alike
All their favorite writers
     All their writing programs
All their visiting writers
     All their writers-in-residence
All their stanzas look alike
     All their third worlds
All their world series
     All their serial killers
All their killing fields
     All their stanzas look alike
All their state grants
     All their tenure tracks
All their artist colonies
     All their core faculties
All their stanzas look alike
     All their Selected Collecteds
All their Oxford Nortons
     All their Academy Societies
All their Oprah Vendlers
     All their stanzas look alike
All their haloed holocausts
     All their coy hetero couplets
All their hollow haloed causes
      All their tone-deaf tercets
All their stanzas look alike
      All their tables of contents
All their Poet Laureates
      All their Ku Klux classics
All their Supreme Court justices
      Except one, except one
Exceptional one. Exceptional or not,
      One is not enough.
All their stanzas look alike.
      Even this, after publication,
Might look alike. Disproves
      My stereo types.

Thomas Sayers Ellis, “All Their Stanzas Look Alike” from The Maverick Room. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Sayers Ellis. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.
Source: The Maverick Room (Graywolf Press, 2005)
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All Their Stanzas Look Alike

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