“Candidate” by Clint Margrave

Clint Margrave


Free speech is speech
no one gets paid for.
Gun control is how steady
you aim the barrel.
Same-sex marriage is
just every marriage.

I’ve built a wall between myself
and others, does that make
me anti-immigrant?

My heart is a middle-class refugee
seeking asylum.
I worry about the electability
of my feelings.
Can they be trusted?
Is this verse classified?
Will my thoughts be indicted?
Have I swiped too far left?

I’m hoping for a personal revolution
not a political one.
I’m hoping the polls about
mortality are all wrong.

What’s emoji for catharsis?
And why when I hear ISS
do I always think ISIS?
When I read “encryption”
I only see “crypt?”

Apple hasn’t developed the technology
to disable death.
But maybe after 10 failed passes
even hope resets.

Does that mean I’m pro-life?
I don’t want to make any more choices.

Poets Respond
March 29, 2016

[download audio]


Clint Margrave: “Some nights I wake up at 3 a.m., an undecided voter in the midst of a nightmare news cycle. Bernie or Hillary? What if Trump wins? Should I defend his right to free speech or am I just defending a fascist? Did I take all the right positions in my latest Facebook posts? Where have I gone? I’m tired of being jostled around by soundbites and statements in 140 characters. I have enough trouble making my own choices. What happened to the world outside of politics, social media, and 24-hour news cycles? A personal world in a race against time. It’s only March. I need some sleep. I need to be a candidate in my own life.” (website)

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