Spring 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 2000 |

Dear Derrida

  My new grad-school roommates and I are attending  our first real lecture, which has gone OK, we guess, since none of us understands it,   when one of our professors rises, a somewhat prissy fellow  with a mild speech impediment, and says he takes issue with the speaker's tone,   which he characterizes as one of "sar, sar," and here he raises his voice a little,  "sar, sar, sar," and wipes his mouth with a handkerchief, "sar," and turns red   and screams, "sar, sar, sar---DAMN EET!---sarcasm!" The four of us look at each other  as if to say, hmmmm, nothing like this at the cow colleges we went to!   After that, whenever we'd spill our coffee or get a sock stuck in the vacuum cleaner,  we'd look at the mess ruefully   and say, "da, da, da---SARCASM!---damn eet!"   Our lives were pretty tightly sealed,  and if we weren't in class or the library, either we spent our time in wordplay   or cooking: what with girlfriends and passersby,

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David Kirby’s collection The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. Kirby is the author of Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which the Times Literary Supplement of London called “a hymn of praise to the emancipatory power of nonsense.” Kirby’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His latest poetry collection is Get Up, Please.

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The Desperate Hours

By David Kirby

  My new grad-school roommates and I are attending  our first real lecture, which has gone OK, we guess, since none of us understands it,   when one of our professors rises, […]

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