Boston Review

"The Report of My Death Is an Exaggeration"

Mark Twain, in a note to the London Office of the New York Herald

Think of it as a fault-line fantasy
that gets dressed up in mauve and black
and latches on to certain people--
figures who excite debate, at least.

Mark had popularity going for him.
He wrote like a champ and was a nice guy
off the court as well. You could always count
on an aerial view of the subject,
whatever subject, and end up knowing
more than you had before liftoff.

He'd fling open a door to the neat four-room
treehouse of his heart and let you in,
despite palpable risk to circulation,
not to mention loss of privacy.

Still, it moved, and the orbit that everyone
expected to be reading any day now
kept on not appearing, it just wouldn't.

(Apparently I'm supposed to spell out
the sequel, but, sorry, this topic has already
terminated-- no, seriously, I mean it.)

--Alfred Corn

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