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Dollar Store Moon Poems

Honorable Mention 2014 Poetry Contest

For just one buck this gaudy one-eyed
cheap tin crescent moon is mine,
lead painted by some ‘artist’ in Beijing,
mysterious mythic glamour brought low
by tawdry colors, already chipped,
melodramatic, second-rate

like some poems end up with no nuance,
or substance, poor images, no true light
of their own, sometimes break
upon opening.

So what shall we do with weak poems,
our failed intent?

Shall we give them a Dollar Store space
near Disney-faced pink ceramic cats,
splotchy glued velvet photo frames
with dusty pictures of Jesus,
grocery list pads in torn cellophane,
magic markers already dried up
you only find out when your kid
opens them and has a tantrum,
portable tiny checker games
that smell like mildew?

Yes, let’s hear it for low-grade poems:

lousy sand-paper-rough Kleenex poems,
no-name dishwasher powder poems,
sick-green dinner plates with flecks
in the clay like tiny flies poems.

Let’s stand up for that kind of poem,
something to take home anyway
when your days are shabby and cheap,
to know you’re still in the game
like this low-down Dollar Store moon
with her one red eye and survivor smile.

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Phone: 608.733.6633


James Watrous Gallery 
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25