“How Florida Lost Its Edge” by Damian Caudill

Damian Caudill


In department emails
we called it baptism by volume.

How watered-down we already were.

Even then,
the state hired private contractors
to scrub our hard-drives
of submersibles, to cut any sentence
that invoked an irritable tide.

these were the come-to-Jesus days
in Miami, but that winter
Tallahassee had caught itself
a sniff of bewildered snow.

Nix all of the literature
on immersion, said our land-
locked Governor.

And of course,
those of us with pensions did.

Poets Respond
March 15, 2015


Damian Caudill: “Earlier this week a curious set of allegations came to light about the specific ways in which Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, has chosen to micro-manage the state’s Department of Environmental Protection’s language on climate change. Namely, that the terms ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ should not be used at all in any official state communications, emails or reports. The unwritten policy reeks of paranoia, so I thought it was only in good faith that I take things a step further by pushing that uneasiness to the surface of a poem written from the perspective of someone on the inside of the state capitol’s PR machine.”

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