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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact [email protected].

On Small Talk

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, September 20, 2018.
About this Poem 

“Sometimes I like to wonder at the amount of everyday conversations that happen because of general friendliness versus basic human need. Like the genuine need to interact with people while simultaneously being present with whatever the brain’s working out in the background.”
—Marcus Wicker

On Small Talk

& anyway, what good is the metronomic
one-note canon two house sparrows cant
aloft, between, the pine privacy fence,
if not to simulate estrangement?
 
Watching them watching me, I think,
First impressions are so medieval. O, to be
the provincial drawbridge damming
a ramshackle interior, or the alligator-
green moat babbling sparsely beneath it—
 
all the unknowable utterances one cheeps
forth to be peripherally endeared. A chorus
which, at the moment, I take to mean
 
Friend, you look well from this distance,
from my vantage, perched over here.

Copyright © 2018 by Marcus Wicker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Marcus Wicker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.