No narrative of
paradise occupies me
this cold bright morning.

We have just woken
from our long nightmare to know
that murder will out.

America’s o-
riginal sin—-autonomy—-
‘Here’s your gun, shoot me’—-

is in our blood. Old
bricks shine in our villages.
Trees return to reds

and yellows. We must
live or die with the differ-
ences between us.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at tom.develyn@comcast.net. D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.

One thought on “Woke”

  1. This poem is a moment of bright sobriety. It puts me in mind of the epigraph to Without Paradise (from whence the title):

    The paradise of pre-ambivalent harmony is unattainable. But the experience of one’s own truth and the post-ambivalent knowledge of it, make it possible to return to one’s own world of feelings at an adult level — without paradise, but with the ability to mourn.
    — Alice Miller


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