Monday, October 12, 2020

The Misanthrope's Talent by David Spicer

I’m not prejudiced, I hate everyone, my father liked
to say, and that includes me. I never asked him why:
maybe he failed in the jobs he worked at haphazardly,
for this short man had less patience than a bored judge,
but one task he undertook with a grace nobody matched,
the one skill other people envied? His penmanship,
imitated by sisters and brothers, daughters and sons,
customers marveling at the way he handled a fountain pen:
his stroke quick and sure as he wrote his name, the J
of his James looping like a sail on a white sea of paper,
the serifs on the gate of his initial H four fancy curling waves,
and the S of his surname a musical note that sang in silence,
he wrote his name with a statesman’s pride. Then, the man
who couldn’t love soared like John Hancock’s ghost.

David Spicer has published over seven hundred poems. Nominated for a Best of the Net four times and a Pushcart twice, he is author of six chapbooks and four full-length collections, the latest two are American Maniac (Hekate) and Confessional ( His fifth, Mad Sestina King, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.

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