a dirty word a dirty

bird a time to speak

to sacrifice fantasize do not

disguise or pretend do not decline poison

poison alas a dirty bird a dirty third

a vulture vulture defecates spits from his mouth

ties neat excrements with string repeats repeats

it is a need, no evil is wide, it is time for sweet

relief a hole inside a pot leaking leaking leaking

any decline is poison a no nonsense & no sense sense

it is time to end the first call dares there will be time &

boom in “What we call the beginning is often the end.”

And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where

we start from boom it in it is a need it is a need it is butter is *

*excerpts from T.S. Eliot And Gertrude Stein


I have been writing a series  of Gertrude Stein Speaks poems which began while I was teaching workshops for adolescents.  The anthology we use contains a section from Tender Buttons and I  specifically focused  on Stein’s writing re food, liking her language play, and incorporating snippets  into my poetry.  In this  specific poem I use language to comment on current political situations. – Mare Leonard


Mare Leonard  lives and works in the Hudson Valley where she is  an Associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking and the MAT programs at Bard College. She has published chapbooks of poetry at 2River, Pudding House, Antrim House Press and Red Ochre Lit and The Dark Inside My Hooded Coat is now available from Finishing Line Press and from her website: www Mare Leonard.com Finally she was nominated for a pushcart in 2018 for a poem published in The Pickled Body, and a narrative poem published in Three Elements will be available in a national anthology in 2019.

Banner image by James Knight.