The following poem by Kurt Brown appeared in Issue No. 19 of the Marlboro Review

In Response to Critics Complaining About the Unseemly Behavior of Poets

Kurt Brown

Some parents are getting ready to visit the Devil.
They are pleased that the Devil has invited them,
and want their children to behave well when the time comes.

"Tie your shoes, Johnny" says the father, who notices
an errant shoestring dangling behind his son. "Be sure to curtsy,"
the mother tells her daughter, who appears miserable in her tutu.

"And comb your hair." There are a few wisps floating about.
The Devil doesn't LIKE little girls with unkempt hair!"
He may be the Devil, but this is a great honor all the same.

He's inviting them for tea, and it would be impolite
to bring up the damned and screaming souls the Devil is known
to enjoy tormenting. Devil or not: he's an important person!

And even the Devil has some culture.
(But what's that I taste in the tea, the little girl thinks blood?
Like the time I bit my tongue?)

Kurt Brown is the author of Return of the Prodigals (Four Way Books, 1999), and founder of the Aspen Writers' Conference, and Writers' Conferences & Festivals (a national association of directors). He is the editor of several anthologies, including Drive, They Said: Poems About Americans and Their Cars and Verse 6 Universe: Poems About Science and Mathematics. His poetry and reviews have appeared in numerous issues of MR. He lives in New York with his wife, poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar.

Copyright 2005© Kurt Brown

Home   Issue 19   Issue 17/18   Issue 16   Issue 14/15   Issue 13   Issue 12   Issue 11   Issue 10
Issue 9   Issue 8   Issue 7   Issue 6   Issue 5