John Forbes Poems

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Anzac Day

A certain cast to their features marked
the English going into battle, & then, that

glint in the Frenchman’s eye meant ‘Folks

Death, An Ode

Death, you’re more successful than America,
even if we don’t choose to join you, we do.
I’ve just become aware of this conscription
where no one’s marble doesn’t come up;

Event Horizon

The Greeks invented the dust cover only to
paint it / but we think of art as an alibi
& see through it. So now what’s around us
is no longer just what’s beyond the pencil

Four Heads & How To Do Them

The Classical Head

Nature in her wisdom has formed the human head
so it stands at the very top of the body.

Love Poem

Spent tracer flecks Baghdad’s
bright video game sky

as I curl up with the war

Ode To Karl Marx

Old father of the horrible bride whose
wedding cake has finally collapsed, you

spoke the truth that doesn’t set us free—

Ode To Tropical Skiing

After breakfast in the Philippines
I take a bath
& it’s a total fucking gas

Enjoy the ice cream, Gerald,

Popular Classics

there’s an end to sex
it’s like the alphabet but simpler
and for you, all there is
and for you too

Rocket To Rome

Read about the Goliard Poets
so long dead & so like you—

sile philomela pro tempore


where are the bluebells
& the blank deck of cards

the children’s toys

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