a poet on my writers’ block

Just made the remarkable discovery that Richard Katrovas writes and teaches from the Rust Belt. Michigan wordsmiths are a special breed–I’ve been to AWP where they were huddled in their own session trying to process the Lake Effect. It’s very fitting that Katrovas live in the Mitten, at least when he’s not living in New Orleans or Prague, a succulently seasoned place that could only be improved by the presence of my daughter, which it was when during our stay there this summer.

a lovely window dressing in Prague

As for Katrovas, here’s an affable grin (and bear it) of an especially “winning” verse…

Love Poem for an Enemy

By Richard Katrovas

I, as sinned against as sinning,

take small pleasure from the winning

of our decades-long guerrilla war.

For from my job I’ve wanted more

than victory over one who’d tried

to punish me before he died,

and now, neither of us dead,

we haunt these halls in constant dread

of drifting past the other’s life

while long-term memory is rife

with slights that sting like paper cuts.

We’ve occupied our separate ruts

yet simmered in a single rage.

We’ve grown absurd in middle age

together, and should seek wisdom now

together, by ending this row.

I therefore decommission you

as constant flagship of my rue.

Below the threshold of my hate

you now my good regard may rate.

For I have let my anger pass.

But, while you’re down there, kiss my ass.

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