If You Think I’m Uncivil


A Guillotine has to stay hungry

to keep her competitive edge—

she likes to stay sharp, like she’s stringing a harp

when trimming a neck or a hedge.


She breakfasts on kings and on princes

and lunches on bishops and earls

and, finally, dines on whatever she finds—

like dissidents or little girls.


The Guillotine likes to stay hungry;

she knows all the right strings to pull—

she gobbles up everyone there in the Square

but never appears to be full.


She comes to the party invited

but stays when the other guests go,

and if you request that she help with the mess

she’ll cut you off with a sharp no.


The Guillotine’s constantly hungry;

she can’t seem to master the urge.

She’s much too impatient to learn moderation;

it’s always a binge—and a purge.


She breakfasts on royals and nobles

and lunches on bishops and priests

and finally dines on whoever opines

that maybe it’s time she should cease.


Poets Answer an Age-Old Question: Why did the chicken cross the road? (part 2)

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Allen Ginsberg

I saw the best hens of my generation destroyed by butchers, roasted, rotisserie-basted,
wandering across the street at dawn looking for a bawdy cock.


Elizabeth Bishop

The art of crossing isn’t hard to master–
when asphalt’s hot, it helps if you cross faster.

Gertrude Stein

The road
is a road
is a road
is a road
to cross
like a boss
and eat moss.


Click here for part 1 (featuring Dickinson, Whitman, and Shakespeare).